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University Of Dundee Botanic Garden (1)


By david


The University of Dundee Botanic Garden (known, affectionately, as The Botanics) is a real “youngster”, as far as botanic gardens are concerned, being founded only as recently as 1971 It is also small, covering 1.9 hectares, but with plenty to see, even in the cold, late winter/early Spring period.

On Friday, in the company of GOYer Madperth (aka Marie), I made my first-ever visit here. For a couple of hours, we were the only visitors, and the ground was frozen solid, so there was no fear of sliding in mud!

Entrance to the Garden of Evolution

This garden, created in 2008-09 to link with the recent Charles Darwin commemorations, is “marked out” with undulating dry-stone walls, which guide visitors through 1200 million years of plant evolution, from green algae to flowering plants.

Evolution Garden. Hart’s Tongue Fern (Asplenium phyllitis scolopendrium), showing spores.

With the planting beds being devoid of all but a few hardy ferns, we were better able to admire the workmanship in the dry-stone walls, which had beautiful “wall art” incorporated here and there.


The absence of flowering plants at this time of year by no means made the Garden dull. We were, in fact, more able to fully appreciate the colour and structure of the many beautiful trees here………………..

Acer griseum (Paperbark Maple)

Acer griseum

Betula utilis (Himalayan Birch)

Betula utilis

Polystepis australis

Polystepis australis

Eucalyptus pauciflora, ssp. niphophila (Snow Gum)

Eucalyptus pauciflora

Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle)

Araucaria araucana

The garden has several vantage points, some of which “focus” upon these beautiful trees.

Some of the “understorey” planting provided more colour, shape and interest…………………

Seedcases on Cardiocrinum giganteum (Giant Himalayan Lily)

These look "ferocious, like giant Venus Fly Traps, or venomous vipers about to strike………

Magnolia stellata, just budding here

Hamamelis intermedia “Hiltingburg”, against backdrop of branches clothed in grey/silver lichen.

Hamamelis mollis

Thamnocaiamus spathaceus (“English Bamboo”)

Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry)

Viburnum tinus


Dead flowers of Yucca gloriosa.

There was a bit of colour, here and there, at ground level, mainly winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) and snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii).

It was now time to adjourn to the coffee shop for some hot food and drink, before investigating the tropical and temperate glasshouses.

(To be continued)

More blog posts by david

Previous post: Captain's Blog (1) "Burying some Treasures"

Next post: University of Dundee Botanic Garden (2)



Oh, very very nice.
Good pictures of wonderful plants David, i love them all .... that wall, the tree barks, that monkey puzzle .... really lovely blog.

Nice too that you and Marie could meet up, how's her course going ? :-))

7 Mar, 2010


what a nice place....i love gardens in winter its so nice to see all the structure...

7 Mar, 2010


Absolutely stunning, who needs flowers. I'm impressed by all the trees and the drystone wall is brilliant. Thanks for naming the fern, I have one and now I know it's name. I wish it wasn't so far away.

7 Mar, 2010


Can't wait for the next installment !
You have inspired me. The Nat Bot Garden of Wales is only 15 miles from here. I've never been there. I will have to make an effort in the next few weeks.

7 Mar, 2010


Brilliant blog!Hywel you need to go~ you will enjoy it!

7 Mar, 2010


I love the bark on trees it can be better than the tree...:o)))

7 Mar, 2010


I agree, Mushy and Sandra :-))

Hywel, you must go, and bring back some pics.I hope to get the next part up later today. :-))

Marie's course sounds very intensive, Louise, with loads of essays, "field trips", etc. She gets free admission to this garden, being a student at the university (one small "return" for all the hard work). :-))

Arlene, your "Trees" book is undoubtedly helping me with identifying them before I find the labels. :-D))

7 Mar, 2010


Good photos David.
I like the walls.
Hi to Marie :o)

7 Mar, 2010


Thanks David , I absolutely loved the Wall flowers , very clever .... and the giant seed cases , and well everything really ! ... .it's nice that you could meet up with Marie for the outing , ( I bet you had a laugh a minute ) LOL.. ..

7 Mar, 2010


Brilliant blog, David I loved all the photos you were able to take. :-)

The trees with peeling, paperlike bark are fascinating! We miss so much when we only look at the beautiful, showy flowers!

I thought the dry stone walling, with the "wallflower" incorporated, was really fabulous!

The nearest botanical gardens to us are in Cambridge, an hour away by bus, but they might as well be on the Moon. :-( I visited them once - 40 years ago!

7 Mar, 2010


really enjoyed your blog david, stone walling is a must iof you can afford to get it done which i cant, but love it, it homes so may insects in winter, love the peeling bark and white trees to, nice to see the catkins in the unamed tree, infact its all lovely especially the snowdrops brightening the ground up :o)) hope marier is ok not seen her on for a while now :o))

7 Mar, 2010


Lovely blog, really enjoyed it. Looks a lovely place to go to.
We went once to Edinburgh Botanic Gardens in winter, and that too was wonderful. It really does show that gardens need a sort of basic skeleton to hold it together in Winter too, doesn't it.?

7 Mar, 2010


I loved looking through this blog David, especially the photos of the 'peeling bark' on the trees as we used to take blind and/or partially sighted people to Highdown Gardens in Worthing, they loved to feel the tree trunks even though they couldn't see them. We forget how tactile Nature can be.

7 Mar, 2010


Lovely blog and photos so interesting.

7 Mar, 2010


lovely place to visit and great pics David

7 Mar, 2010


Glad you found something of help here, Heron. :-)

That's a very good point re the walls being homes for wildlife, San. :-)

Tt. Amy and Sandra, Marie is so snowed under with course work. She did take lots of pics, so perhaps we'll get to see them soon? Hoping to go to a Spring Show in Perth mid April. :-)

Balcony and Mad, you are both so right re framework and structure. It was great to see these without "distractions". :-)

Megan, your trips to Highdown sound as if they were very rewarding for everyone involved. :-)

Thank You. Clarice and Holly! Now, for a totally different side to the Garden.............Part 2.

7 Mar, 2010


Thanks David, I have a thing about trees in winter, they really captivate me both the feel of the bark and their shapes,mixed feelings about those huge seed heads on the Giant Himalayan Lily,reminds me of scary movies,lol....
Say hi to Marie for me, hope alls well with her course..........

7 Mar, 2010


Wonderful tour loved all thanks for sharing

8 Mar, 2010


Your'e welcome, Lincs and 6d.. Know what you mean about the scary movies, Lincs. :-))

8 Mar, 2010


Betcha your unknown is a Betula? the catkins look like paper birch. Great Galloping Galanthus, Batman! oops....Cap'n! You can always count on snow drops even when the soil seems frozen to concrete. the early spring flowers are a marvel. Great tour, David. Will you be taking the opportunity to get back to see it in high summer?

31 Mar, 2010


I believe you are correct, Lori, as, later, I saw some similar which were "labelled". This will be a "must see" destination in summer. :-))

1 Apr, 2010

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