Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh creates Virtual SpringApril 8th 2020
While much of the world is in lockdown, a broad invitation is being extended to everyone facing home isolation and other restrictions to experience some of the joys of the season, as the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) welcomes all to join its Virtual Spring, full of colour and activity. New online films, images of its four Gardens in bloom and daily updates are all being produced behind-the-scenes during the temporarily closure caused by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
Recognising how many potential visitors would be upset when RBGE followed government guidelines to close its sites at Inverleith, Benmore, Logan and Dawyck, the ‘Botanics’ quickly set about arranging new forms of outreach.
Herbaceous Supervisor, Kirsty Wilson, explained there was a deep desire to engage widely with members of the public during this difficult period: “In early spring, even the smallest bloom is a cause for celebration,” she commented. “We understand our Gardens are loved by thousands of people far and wide and it seems such as shame for everyone to miss out on the beauty of the season. So, while most of us are at home, we can still enjoy the simplest of joys: the Gardens might be closed but spring is not cancelled!”
The difficult decision to close the Gardens was taken because the health and safety of staff, students, visitors and volunteers is paramount. The closure adapted the way all staff work.
“Only a very small number of horticulture staff now work in shifts to tend our world-leading collection of plants,” added Kirsty Wilson. “They are doing a fantastic job in difficult circumstances. But, they are missing our many visitors and are keen to share the spectacular sights of the plant collection in full bloom. Now, everyone can enjoy the beauty of our Gardens from home through Virtual Spring and through our social media channels.”
Virtual Spring encompasses what is happening across the four remarkable Gardens – the flagship ‘Botanics’ in Edinburgh, mountainous Benmore in Argyll; Logan, an exotic paradise in Galloway; and Dawyck, a magnificent arboretum in the picturesque Scottish Borders. Together, constituting Scotland’s National Botanic Gardens, they hold one of the richest plant collections in the world, with more than 13,500 species, many of which are endangered or extinct in the wild.
To discover more visit Virtual Spring at rbge.org.uk/virtualspring