Anthology celebrates 50 years of the Dundee Botanic Garden


3rd November 2020

A collection of picture and word reflections celebrates decades of the Dundee Botanic Garden through the eyes and thoughts of its regular visitors.

The new book, entitled Our Botanic Garden, A Place to Bloom, comprises work by professional and amateur artists, photographers and writers of all prose. Its launch opens the 50th anniversary year of the Dundee Botanic Garden.

The project was first initiated in 2017 by the Friends of the University Botanic Garden in a bid to raise awareness of the attraction and raise funds to support its continuing role in conservation and education. Through the anthology, they aim to raise the profile of the venue across the wider Tayside area.

Incorporating stories, poetry, sketches and paintings, the publication reflects visitors’ emotional response to the garden in all its seasons, exploring and emphasising the importance of the space, which many consider a hidden jewel of the city

Dr Mark McGilchrist, Chair, Friends of the University Botanic Garden, said, “We are delighted to launch our anthology. It is a beautifully presented book and a wonderful gift of time and personal contribution to the University of Dundee Botanic Garden.

“The individual and community efforts shared within its pages highlight the special place of the garden in the hearts of those who know and are touched by its work, who enjoy its spirit of place, benefit from its wellbeing gift of space and support its critical conservation and educational work.

“I can’t think of a better way to raise awareness of the role plants and green spaces play in people’s lives today. It is an excellent way to open this anniversary year.”

Professor David Maguire, Interim Principal of the University of Dundee, added, “It is with great pleasure in my leadership capacity that I can introduce this anthology on the eve of the garden’s 50th year.

“It is a significant body of work, representing the local community’s connection to a space that promotes their health, feeds their happiness, and as the pages of the book reveal, facilitates their creativity and wellbeing.”

The anthology was underwritten and produced by the Friends of the University Botanic Garden and is presently available for purchase at the garden on Riverside Drive.

The Dundee Botanic Garden was opened in 1971 and usually attracts more than 80,000 visitors each year. It is hoped celebratory events for the attraction’s 50th anniversary can go ahead in 2021.

The garden boasts a wide range of plants, with fine collections of conifers and broad-leaved trees and shrubs, tropical and temperate glasshouses, as well as water and herb gardens. Located in 9.5 hectares of south facing, gently sloping land near the banks of the River Tay, the garden features many species of indigenous British plants as well as representative collections of important plants from all the continents of the world.

University of Dundee

Nobel Prize winning poet and honorary graduate Seamus Heaney has described the University of Dundee as ‘having its head in the clouds and its feet firmly on the ground.’ The ability to be both aspirational and down-to earth and to blend ground-breaking intellectual achievement with practical applications, has given the University its distinctive character.

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