Friday, 7 February 2014

Along the paths at Edinburgh Botanics

What great news it was to read ‘The Access for All Appeal’  leaflet on the table at The Terrace Café at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh back in January. Having had one garden visit with a wheelchair last June, I can completely see the need for such a valuable project and wish it much success :-)

What well positioned good sized direction signs for wheelchair Accessible paths we saw on our January garden visit. Together with fresh looking rope edging, I’m guessing both are fairly new additions to the garden and possibly a result of donations to this appeal. Enhanced accessibility will benefit not only wheelchair users but families too, from the young in pushchairs to older family members with walking difficulties.




It has to be said, The Botanical Gardens at Edinburgh does have a fair few paths with slopes – some fairly steep at that. It was only when I found myself pushing at wheelchair up them (and just as hard holding it going back down them) that I wondered if maps were available to have made my visit easier. It should be noted that I knew the layout of this garden pretty well and I got caught out.

On leaving the garden at the end of our wheelchair visit (temporary for my daughter after knee surgery) I asked staff if they had maps to help guide visitors with wheelchairs/access needs and was told they didn’t. I said I thought it would be a great help and she said she’d note my suggestion. I wonder…

The leaflet I picked up on this visit suggests a donation of £10 will fund 200 new accessibility information leaflets for visitors which is just brilliant! You can read the leaflet here. There are four gardens under the umbrella of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh – the other three sites of Benmore, Dawyck and Logan are all quite different from each other (having different needs too) but will all benefit from this appeal.


Our January garden visit had no restrictions in mobility (except for distance as my daughter’s knee has limitations yet). The plan for this visit was to head to the Rock Garden via the Chinese Garden, which is just down from the Terrace Café where we always start our trip by having a coffee there as we have a car journey to get to this garden. Here’s what caught my eye on this visit…


Along the path edge… whispy grass-like foliage en masse, boulders and Bergenia :-)



Trying to break over the path edge… I love to see branch structures at this time of year :-)



Along the path edge… and under, water falls over velvety, mossy rocks - magical :-)



The path edges of the Rock Garden… great to see evidence of gardeners at work here ;-)



Along the path edge… Helleborus foetidus, velvety moss again, Bergenia with lighting :-)



Along the path edge… More wheelbarrows and Wheelchair Access signs :-)
Rope threaded through posts – this idea has been on my mind for a few years now ;-)


Along the path edge… is where that eye of mine takes me when on garden visits. I have always been as drawn to the edges of paths and borders just as much as the contents inside. I look to be inspired on garden visits and depending on what I am working on in my own garden my eye is scanning as I go. As gardeners we all do that :-)

What does your eye scan to on big garden visits like a Botanical garden? The plant collections and houses, magnificent trees, what’s in flower or do you like looking at the structural stuff too? My eye was scanning for something quite different during my wheelchair visit last June. Looking back at my photos, I see they are all cropped and watermarked ready to post but it was a busy time and they never made it here. I’ll sort that soon – February is a great blogging month for sharing a bit of summer colour :-)

Wishing you good weather to enjoy your garden this weekend. Have you plans? I’ll be working on fine tuning some new path edges – of course! Assuming we don't get any snow, all will be revealed soon. I love it when a garden plan comes together – don’t you :-)



This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in February 2014.

6 comments:

Sue Garrett said...

I tend to ne drawn to different things at different times of the year. At this time of year it would be tree shapes and bark textures.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your trip to the gardens is a sight for winter sore eyes. Love seeing those mossy rocks. Here there is nothing doing outside as we are still in the -degrees. Everything is frozen solid, that includes the ground that still has 3" of snow and ice on it. Here I will be inside dreaming of garden plans and sipping hot tea.

SeagullSuzie said...

I love big trees and so am always drawn to them and any structures. Although I do love to find a pretty little spot of something tucked away.
I think my plans this weekend will be to start building an arc as we are in for terrible weather again!
I checked my diary and last February I was out gardening...this month the ground is too wet to walk on-although the weeds would come up easily.

SeagullSuzie said...

oops meant to type ark....!

Angie said...

RBGE - is a wonderful place, even if you only go for the walk so every little helps in order to make the place more accessible. I used to live near the botanics and was always a great place just to chill and pass the day. I wouldn't say I'm particularly drawn to a specific spot or plants, just being outdoors in such a beautiful environment is pleasure enough.
I hope the weather is kind and allows you to get those jobs done Shirley.

Shirley said...

Hello everyone, thanks for all your comments :-)

Sue, ah, I too am drawn to tree shapes and bark textures :-)

Lisa, I can understand how much you will enjoy seeing the colour green. I remember a couple of winters ago with an unusually long spell of snow here how much I missed the greens. Ah… I’m thinking your plans will involve your new bed shapes on either side of your new beautifully curved path to your front door :-D

Suzie, I agree with both. I deliberately tuck special things/plants in corners of my garden. Oh dear – I hope you haven’t had flooding damage with you. It’s quite awful by the images seen in the news and it’s not over yet :-(

Angie, it is and we travel through for the walk around on and off throughout the year. Many people are seen chilling in the Botanics and I guessed there could be as many locals as tourists. I hear you, although I do want to be drawn in to a garden and on every visit to RBGE something different does catch my attention. My jobs have been stop-start but I’m getting there :-)