Scotland has, over the last two hundred years or so produced some of the worlds most successful Plant Hunters. This unique garden celebrates their fascinating lives and their amazing contribution to the way our gardens look today.

In the eighteenth century plant hunting became a profession that sent individuals on voyages round the world to discover and collect new plants. Few people realise that the garden plants now so common and readily available, may have come thousands of miles from their native country. Most plants that enrich our gardens and give so much pleasure, are so familiar that they are taken for granted; roses, lupins, lilies, herbaceous plants, primulas, azaleas, rhododendrons, exotic conifers, shrubs and trees, were not always here. Their initial discovery by plant collectors often involved months of travel by boat, difficult and often dangerous field conditions and laborious care to bring them back in the form of seeds or living specimens.

It is intended that, through a combination of design and interpretation, the garden will bring alive for the visitor some of the many facts and stories associated with the Plant Hunters and the plants they collected. The interpretation, which operates at various levels, relates the stories of the collectors lives to the visitor, and communicates in a way which is enjoyable and entertaining, adding another dimension to the garden and the visitor experience.

The aims of the garden are as follows:

  • To provide a unique garden and a centre of excellence celebrating the Scottish Plant Hunters;
  • To offer an educational resource for schools and adults;
  • To cultivate and conserve rare and endangered plants; and
  • To promote visual arts, crafts and performance in an inspirational outdoor setting.

Overall the visitor should gain an impression of the wealth diversity our gardens contain, thanks to the efforts of the Scottish Plant Hunters whose names live on in the plants they introduced to this country and many others.

Explorers: The Scottish Plant Hunters Garden was conceived and built in conjunction with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

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