Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Jungle City

When walking through the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh in August, you would have come across something not readily seen in the east of Scotland.  There was a display of sculptures by Jungle-city.org who were highlighting the plight of Asia's wildlife as this quote from their website says:

'The event celebrates the magnificence of Asia’s endangered wildlife, generating mass awareness of their plight and making everyone smile at the same time. It sees a herd of life-sized Asian elephants lead a community of brightly painted orangutans, hornbills, tigers and crocodiles through the streets, parks and buildings of the world’s most iconic cities with the aim of raising £50m over the next ten years for their survival.'
Apparently these sculptures are available to buy if you want one for yourself.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh...

...to give it its full name.  And why not!

Marvellous.  We entered via the East Gate entrance on Inverleith Row after a 10 minute walk from Princes Street into an extremely verdant setting, probably made more so because of the heavy skies, of course.  One of the first plants you see after a few specimen trees are some large Gunneras thriving in the damp conditions.  At Hadlow there are some by the pond and they do quite well but these as you can see from the photo are in a border by a path and not a hint of them wilting in the blazing sunshine.


Cirsium purpuratum
 Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
 Ferns beside the John Hope Gateway
 A little bit of Japan in Edinburgh

 Long borders near the Glasshouse
More Dahlias

As you walk through what is essentially an arboretum you come to a newish building called the John Hope Gateway which is a visitor centre and restaurant.  Outside there are some Piet Oudolf style beds that you can walk partially through with grasses and herbaceous perennials that were looking pretty good in August even though the weather was doing its best to put them off.  Beside the perennials are some ferns and further into the middle of the Gardens tucked away is a Japanese Garden.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Stirling Castle

When we were in Scotland in the summer (you can see its summer by the light grey clouds rather than the dark grey clouds), we visited Stirling Castle.  It is well worth a visit although be prepared to walk up and down a lot of steps and slopes, they must have been a fit lot back then.  There is an area called Queen Anne's Garden which has a lawn and some flower borders along the edges, which faces south west and has views across a large expanse of land, so no chance of the English sneaking up on them.

 Early land art.

Along with the Crocosmia which seemed to be everywhere in Scotland, there was a fine Acanthus spinosus.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Sailing Away

Today, some of my fellow BA (Hons) student pals are beginning their quest for an MA or Diploma in Landscape Architecture.  They stand at the bottom of another mountain and I'm sure they are well aware of the task that they will now have to overcome having already been schooled in the University of Greenwich way.

I thought long and hard about doing the MA in Landscape Architecture but finally decided it was not the way I wanted to go as private gardens is what I want to focus on and my time will be better served concentrating on that.  

Good luck to you all, especially Miss Willmott, Alick and Grant, I'm sure you will do very well and look forward to seeing your work.  We've grown up together and been through a lot but now I can help but feel I'm standing on the shore watching you all sail away... 

Monday, 12 September 2011

Inverness Floral Hall

When we were in Scotland over the summer we visited Inverness and happened upon the Floral Hall just by the leisure centre.  We were told by a grump not to bother as it wasn't worth the £2.30 entrance fee.  But we stumped up the cash and were surprised, to say the least.
There were extremely well tendered borders and the biggest surprise was the glass house that housed a dry garden with many cacti and desert type succulents along with another of tropical plants.

 The Ligularia veitchianas were thriving in the mixed borders

along with Heucheras
and Crocosmia 'Lucifer'
 The tropical glass house

 The succulent glass house, with the ground excavated so there is only about 3m of glass structure above ground with tonnes of local stone to finish

The most amazing thing is that I should imagine Inverness gets a lot colder than it ever does down here in Kent, but the plant are thriving so they must have got the temperature and humidity within the glass houses adjusted perfectly.