As many readers of this blog will know, I love Edinburgh's Botanic Gardens, and often visit at the weekend. However until today I'd never visited the nursery area, which isn't open to the public. I visited today (imagine, I get paid to visit gardens!) to find out more about their work. The nursery is not only where plants for the Botanic Gardens are propogated and grown for the Botanics but also hosts horticulture students and volunteers and runs horticultural therapy projects with people from Edinburgh based groups.
I was impressed by the size of the nurseries, they're round the corner and across the road to the north of the Botanics and cover quite a large area. There are several polytunnels, a big potting shed, a tiny bee shed (which is going to be renovated so that volunteers can develop bee-keeping skills), some allotments for the students and a lovely wildflower meadow, that even now at the end of the season is very colourful and full of bees and hoverflies.
The nurseries also make bird and bat houses and insect hotels using reclaimed wood and slates.