The Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh was founded by Dr Robert Sibbauld and Dr Andrew Balfour in 1670 at St. Anne’s Yard, which is near Holyrood Palace. After Oxford’s botanic gardens which were founded in 1621, Edinburgh’s is the oldest in the United Kingdom. Many of the plants in the botanic gardens Edinburgh were moved to a site on the road to Leith in 1763 to avoid the pollution in the city. In 1820 the gardens were moved to Inverleith, where they remain today. The gardens’ temperate palm house which was built in 1858 still contains the tallest palms in Britain.
The botanic gardens Edinburgh is an important member of a worldwide network of such institutions that want to prevent the further erosion of biodiversity. Edinburgh’s botanic gardens team coordinates and is involved in a number of conservation projects both in the UK and on the international scene. In addition to its many credentials the botanic gardens Edinburgh is also a popular place for both local people and tourists to visit. It is free to get into the botanic gardens and to walk around but if you want to go inside the greenhouses there is a small entrance charge.
The botanic gardens Edinburgh holds events throughout the year including exhibitions, guided tours and live performances, the gardens are an important educational centre and there are taught courses offered at all levels. The botanic gardens, and its smaller regional gardens in different parts of Scotland, are home to almost thirty six thousand plants the gardens hold more than fifteen thousand different types of plants from all over the world, which is something like five percent of all known plant species.
The botanic gardens’ herbarium is situated at the main site in Edinburgh and is regarded as a world leader in botanical collections. Many of the plants came from the Botanical Society of Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh in 1840 and moved into their current purpose built location in 1964. As with most collections, numbers of plants have been added over the years, some of which come from individuals and some from institutions such as the University of St. Andrews and Glasgow University.
The botanical gardens Edinburgh has its own reference library for horticultural and botanical resources in around 150,000 periodicals and 70,000 books, making it one of Scotland’s largest research libraries. Most of the people that use the library are the gardens own staff and students but the resources are also used by visiting researchers. The library is accessible to the public either as visitors or by email or over the telephone The botanical gardens Edinburgh’s satellite gardens are Benmore, which is situated on the west coast of Scotland, Dawyck, located to the south of Peebles, a Scottish border town and Logan, which is the most exotic public garden in Scotland. Logan has a climate that is almost sub tropical which makes ideal conditions for growing plants from the southern hemisphere.