Spring cheer and visitors return to Logan Botanic Garden

Logan Botanic Garden, on the Rhins of Galloway, has started its season some six weeks later than the norm.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 12:01 pm
The tree fern Dicksonia antartica at Logan’s is an example of plants not normally seen this far north

Some safety measures remain in place, however, the necessary restrictions are more than countered by the blaze of spring colour.

Logan’s internationally important Living Collection of plants is already resplendent. Thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream, the mild climate allows a focus on species not normally seen growing outdoors this far north.

A revised route at the entrance takes visitors through the shop and on to the Potting Shed Bistro, where recently appointed cater Ellie Torrance is offering a provisional menu focusing on locally sourced foods. Open at present for takeaways, there are plans for a full service as soon as hospitality restrictions permit.

Logan’s core work in plant science and conservation horticulture has been continuing throughout the closed season months. As a Regional Garden of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, it plays a vital role in caring for species threatened in their natural habitats.

Increasingly, it is home to plantings from Vietnam, many from three international multi-partnered plant collecting expeditions over the last decade and is also a focus for experts around the world working together under the umbrella of Global Conservation Consortium Rhododendron.

Curator Richard Baines, who led the expeditions, has written a book about his experiences – Plant Explorer: A plantsman’s travels in Northern Vietnam.

He said: “Through threats ranging from deforestation, urbanisation, agriculture and the climate emergency, a great number of the species are now clinging on in small, fragile, populations.

"By collecting these species and nurturing them in ex-situ conservation projects, we give them a better chance of survival. At the same time, we have the opportunity to engage people visiting the Garden with unexpected wonders of the natural world and inspire them to help conserve the planet.”

Following the Friends’ AGM on Tuesday, April 20, there will be guided walking tour of Early Summer Delights, on Tuesday, June 22. Other guided walks to follow include The Magic of Summer, in July, and Sensational September Delights.