Richard Brown, Horticulturist, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

July 22nd 2015

Richard Brown, Horticulturist, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

When I completed my HND in Horticulture with Plantsmanship at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh [RBGE] I began working within RBGE’s living collection [Garden] as a Horticulturist. I have been at the garden for 14 years, working across all aspects of the Garden, finally settling in the Rock and Alpine team where I have been for the last 7 years. As part of a team of four I help to look after the world famous rock garden, the woodland garden. Our team also forms part of the Alpine and Rock garden department, based at the Alpine house where we do all our propagation and house our bulb collection.

I love the attention to detail and variety that my job brings, whilst there is a lot of weeding to be done, my duties change each day. Grass cutting in the rock garden is my favourite in the summer and in the cold winter months the creation of planting areas is a good task. Even if there is several feet of snow blanketing the garden there are still plant records to update and seeds from expeditions and the garden to store in the freezer for the future use.

Sometimes my job takes me overseas on plant collection expeditions to enhance our collections in the garden for horticultural and conservation purposes. China is my personal favourite, with such a rich flora, beautiful landscape and good food! It’s great to see Rhododendron’s covering entire mountainsides and Primula’s and Meconopsis en masse on the Yak pastures. Central Asia and the Caucasus mountains are also great places to visit for bulbs. Iris and bulbs of Galanthus and Tulipa from these trips now form part of the Alpine house spring displays.

It’s great to see the public enjoying the garden and hear all the feedback they give us on the work that happens within RBGE.