According to their website The Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh were ‘Founded in the 17th century as a physic garden….’
Physic means the science of healing and the purpose of such gardens was therefore (in the words of the Chelsea Physic Garden website) ‘to research the properties, origins and conservation of over 5000 plant species.’
It is a lovely space to have within the city boundary. The Botanic Gardens extend to about 70 acres and are just a mile from the heart of the capital and within sight of Edinburgh Castle. It is a great place for children and adults alike to explore. The endless lawns are a great place for sunbathing and picnicking, the hothouses are a delight on a cold day and the new John Hope Gateway is a lovely resource with a shop, restaurant and wifi! (Great for The Reporter!) The plants are beautiful and well-tended and are all very photogenic…
Visitor numbers at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh have hit record highs since the opening of the John Hope Gateway in October 2009.
More than 65,000 people have toured the £15.7m visitor centre since it opened on Wednesday 7 October. The weekend following the opening was the busiest in the Garden’s history, with a total of 8,386 visitors to the Gateway over the two day period.
Figures show that the number of people who visited the Garden and John Hope Gateway in October totalled 69,557. That compares with 35,108 visitors to the Garden over the same period last year.
The state-of-the-art building boasts temporary and permanent exhibitions, a Real Life Science studio, Botanics Shop with many exclusive ranges, an outdoor plant sales area and Gateway Restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.
The eco-friendly building, which is a model of sustainability, is helping the Botanic Gardens engage with visitors and enlighten them about the important role the internationally-renowned organisation plays in research and conservation.
The Botanics are open between 10.00 and 7.00pm from April to September and from 10.00 till sunset in other months.
But even on a sunny day at The Botanics there is the ever-present traffic warden…..So watch where you park!