Friday, 21 June 2013

Scottish orchids

Or to be more precise, orchids in Scotland.

I'm a fan of Scottish botanical gardens, with their wealth of history, partly inspired by squadrons of intrepid plant hunters.

To make the occasion of the launch of Dark Interlude, a post-World War One romantic mystery set in Scotland, I've collected up a few of my favourite orchid photos snapped north of the border on my many trips.

The first batch is from the fabulous Glasgow gardens. The second is from the newly refurbished glasshouses in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh.

While all the trips were fun, some were definitely for research purposes. Am I lucky one!

Both are the most wonderful place to visit, steeped in botanical lore, with the most elegant glasshouses in the country. I might even prefer them to Kew.

A little bit of history. Glasgow Botanic Gardens is an Arboretum and public park located in the West End of Glasgow, Scotland. It features several glasshouses, the most notable of which is the stunning Kibble Palace. The gardens were created in 1817, and run by the Royal Botanic Institution of Glasgow (founded by Thomas Hopkirk of Dalbeth), and were intended to supply the University of Glasgow. William Hooker was regius professor of botany at Glasgow University, and contributed to the development of the Botanic Gardens before his appointment to the directorship of Kew Gardens in London. The gardens were originally used for concerts and other events, and in 1891 the gardens were incorporated into the Parks and Gardens of the City of Glasgow.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation, as well as a popular tourist attraction. Originally founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants, today it occupies four sites across Scotland - Edinburgh, Dawyck, Logan and Benmore - each with its own specialist collection. The RBGE's living collection consists of more than 13,302 plant species, (34,422 accessions) whilst the herbarium contains in excess of three million preserved specimens.
In future posts, I’ll share some photographs from some notable European botanical gardens, from Tromsø to Heidelberg.

By Pamela Kelt

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