Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

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Edinburgh Botanic Gardens

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, located on Inverleith Row, is one of Edinburgh's biggest tourist attractions. It is also a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation. About 5% of all known plant species are grown here.

The Botanics was originally founded as long ago as 1670 next to Holyrood Palace. It moved to Leith in 1763 before transferring to its current site at Inverleith in 1820. The Botanics now houses 15,000 different species of plant.

The Botanics is a mixture of oasis in the centre of town and a scientific centre. The Temperate Palm House was built in 1858 and remains the tallest in Britain.

Entrance to the botanic garden is free, although a small entry charge exists for the glasshouses. Guided tours are also available. There is a restaurant, cafe and coffee bar.

Spring (March, April, May)

Springtime is one of the most exciting times of the year as the famous rhododendrons explode into bloom. Check out the American Snowdrop tree. Later in Spring, see the Garden's lilacs put on their beautiful display. The Alpine House is also a highlight in Spring.

Summer (June, July, August)

The Herbaceous Border is the summer-time headline attraction. Both the Arboretum and the Rock Garden continue to provide a colourful display. The ponds in the Glasshouse are at their best in the summer with tropical water lilies flowers reaching up to 2m in diameter.

Autumn (September, October, November)

In autumn, plant growth slows, but deciduous trees provide a dramatic change of colour. The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness with flowers making way for berries and fruit. The Arboretum is a riot of various shades of red, yellow and gold.

Winter (December, January, February)

Winter is time of starker beauty in the Gardens. Of course the Tropical Palm House is still warm, even if a carpet of snow outside! Yews and conifers provide shelter to plants including other conifers. The Alpine House and Rock Garden still provide some real gems. And then there's always the Vireya rhododendrons, blooming as if it were spring.

The Garden is open daily from 10am, except 25 December and 1 January. The Botanic Gardens' website is rbge.org.uk.

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