Autumn blooms at Garden with new activities

Autumn courses at Botanic Garden St Andrews. September 2014
Autumn courses at Botanic Garden St Andrews. September 2014

St Andrews Botanic Garden is marking the start of autumn with a new programme of seasonal activities.

Claire Dalby, nationally renowned for her botanical illustrations and a popular teacher at the Garden, will be teaching two courses.

The first, on September 27 and 28 September, is aimed at beginners who may have wanted to take up this activity but have never had the confidence to try.

This will be followed by a second course to be held on five Saturdays in October and November.

With autumn the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, it is the time of year when people interested in wild foraging get out and about with their baskets to gather in a wild harvest of berries, fruits and fungi.

A one-day workshop on foraging will be held on September 24, when Margaret Lear will be the guide for identifying and cooking wild food.

The following day, September 25, Elaine Lindsay will be teaching the skills of making flowers and other traditional items from straw.

On the first Thursday of every month, the Garden runs a ‘Guided Walk with a Focus’ and in October, three of the regular volunteer guides will be leading the group, meeting at the Glass Class at 2pm.

For those who like to learn something new every week, the ever-popular Botanic Bonanza series of lectures starts on October 9.

Each lecture or demonstration is self-contained and topics include Gingers, Explorations in Central Asia and the work of the Woodland Trust.

To end on a seasonal flavour, there will be a session on Frankincense and Myrrh.

In this year of the Commonwealth Games, the Garden has made its own contribution to raising interest in the Commonwealth countries.

A trail around the garden was created, in which 12 representative countries and their plants were chosen from the Garden and the glasshouses with some information about each along the trail.

While very popular with children, education officer Nikki Macdonald said it was also an attraction for adults and will be in place until the end of the year.

Details of all the courses and events are on the Garden’s website at

Alternatively, call the Education Trust secretary on 01334-476452 or email