Thursday, 13 December 2012

Gardeners' Question Time

The audience may have been small but the enthusiasm was great. Our thanks go to our panel of Experts.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Gardeners' Question Time

Saturday, 1st  December

2.30 PM
St Peter's Church Hall

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Notes for November

Mid-November and the sound of a digger accompanied me on a recent walk round the Garden. This was not clearance of some wind-damaged victim. This was deliberate prior to establishing an eco building to the east of the Mediterranean Section. The building is an on-going project by Architecture students and Dundee University. Modern architecture can be exciting so we will watch this space. 
Alasdair Hood is now safely back from his visit to Australia and New Zealand. He obviously encountered more sun than those of us who stayed at home. 
As the clocks were put back it seemed to stimulate a change and autumn came to the Garden in a few short days Leaves carpet the the ground in shades of gold as the temperature fluctuates between 13 degrees C and very cold. A recent forecast of the winter to come suggests I buy some more thermals.
The Friends are participating in the West End Christmas Fayre on Saturday, 17th November. This allows us to meet people who may not be visitors to the Garden and hopefully they will fill in our questionnaire so we can discover what would make it attractive to them. We will also publicise Gardens' Question time which takes place on 1st December. 
Christmas is fast approaching - and still the grass grows!

Frances Tait 

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Frances has offered to give us monthly updates on what to look for in the garden. Here's the first one. 

The Wednesday afternoon lecture series got off to a splendid start on 10th October when Louise Bustard, Education Officer at Glasgow Botanic Garden, spoke on “Plants Can Kill”. This humorous and knowledgeable lecturer talked with enthusiasm about every day plants known to us all in gardens or on countryside walks. Almost fifty people attended and, despite hiccups with the University’s I T system, this was a remarkable start to the season. As a gardener I am accustomed to wearing gloves and  washing my hands when I come inside. Now I shall do it with a little more care and I shall watch with trepidation where my host puts her proffered bunch of daffodils when I call in spring. (Don't ask) After such a successful beginning whom shall we call on for the 2012/14 session? Suggestions are welcome!

As the days and nights grow colder, the Garden puts on a new set of clothes. Gone are the greens, the blue-greens and the green-greens. Now come a range not seen throughout the rest of the year. The weeping branches of the parotia on the far side of the pond seem to be on fire while the birch leaves glow creamy yellow and greenish bronze. Look out for the oaks, both English and Red, that surprise us with their variations in colour and shape.

There are still flowers to be found;: peppermint pink nerines at the rear of the glasshouse, muted red species dahlias to the south and, nearby, the ranks of watsonia and crocosmia stand in orange livery. Look at the trees outside the Visitors’ centre and you will see  texture and bark colour that rivals their spring display.  Search and you will find the leaves and flowers of winter-flowering cyclamen. Deeper In the Garden the rhododendrons, camellias, and magnolias are carrying their spring buds.  Take a walk yourself! There is much to enjoy  to in these winter months.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

On Being Happy

Don't miss Neil's talk at Dundee University in the Baxter Conference Room 1.36, 1st Floor, Tower Building at 2.20 pm on Wednesday, 3rd October.

Neil Paterson (Botanic Garden)
On Being Happy: Epicureans in the Garden
Our health is intimately connected to our mental attitudes and approach to life.  The Greeks advocated living the Good Life but what precisely is that to be - Epicurus had an interesting answer.

See "Feeling Good" for the full programme.
All the talks are free!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Special Event

University of Dundee Wednesday Afternoon Lectures

To be held in Lecture Theatre, Tower Building, Perth Road
No need to book - Tickets  £2 per person available at the door.
The Friends have been asked to open the 2012/13 series of the University’s Afternoon Lectures on Wednesday 10th October at 2.15p.m.

Our speaker for this occasion is Louise Bustard, Education Officer, at Glasgow Botanic Garden.   Her illustrated talk is entitled “Plants that Kill”  Do we know how treacherous some of our plants can be?  We know about foxgloves and laburnum but what about daffodils and snowdrops?   Came along and learn more from this excellent and humerous speaker who will keep us entertained while passing on some of her considerable knowledge. 

Other lectures in the series are –

            14th November   Susan Keracher: Dundee’s Two Intrepid Ladies
            12th December    Jim Cook: The History of Local Natural History
            16th January        Bob McCurly & Graham Smith: The Birds of Angus
            6th February        Derek Hall: Recalling a More Ancient Perth
            13th March          Martin Kirkbride: How Green Was My Valley

Thursday, 13 September 2012

AGM 2012

As you can see from the video the meeting was lively and well attended. It was a lovely autumn evening and many of those present had accompanied Alasdair on his guided walk round the Garden. Frances's report and the names of the members  of the new committee will be posted here shortly for those of you who missed the meeting. At the close of the meeting our Honorary President, Hugh Ingram, gave a moving tribute to Eddie Kemp, the Garden's first curator, who died recently, at the age of 101. He was the inspiration for the innovative design of the Garden. 

AGM 2012

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Visit by DCC Councillors

City Councillors on a tour of the Garden on Tuesday evening. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


GARDEN WALK – Prior to the AGM the Curator, Alasdair Hood, invites Friends and Visitors to accompany him on a “Twilight Walk” round the Garden. The walk lasting approximately 1 hour will depart from the Visitor Centre at 5.30 p.m. (meet at 5.15 p.m.)Light refreshments will be served in the Education Centre from 6.00 p.m with the AGM starting at 7.00 p.m. and lasting approximately 45 minutes
1.      Apologies
2.      Confirmation of Minutes of 29th AGM held on Wednesday 26th May 2011
3.      Matters arising from Minutes
4.      Chairman’s Report
5.      Treasurer’s Report including a short talk on the BT/MyDonate method of payment.
6.      Proposal to elect Honorary President
7.      Election of Office Bearers
a.       Chairman willing to stand for re-election
b.      Vice Chairman willing to stand for re-election
c.       Treasurer willing to stand for re-election
d.      General Secretary Position vacant – Nominations invited
e.       Minute Secretary willing to stand for re-election
f.        Membership Secretary Retiring Nominations invited
8.      Election of Committee: there are three vavancies
9.      Election of External Assessor
10.  A.O.C.B.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Scotland in Bloom comes to Dundee

Frances shows the judges round the Garden

In the student allotment

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


The combined visit by the Friends and local Plant heritage Group to Binny Plants resulted in 20 people booking. This number made hiring a coach economically possible. Great strides have been made since the Friends' last visit. The two groups united again when we visited Madeleiene Tinsen's garden in Perth to see the Chris North lilies originally developed at SCRI. Due to the lack of sunshine only two varieties were in bloom. This was a spectacular garden enjoyed by 19 people many of whom car-shared. 
Both groups felt that combined outings were the way forward. - one organised by each group. the first of which will be next March when we will go to see the Plant Heritage National Collection of Aloes and Gasteria, held in the Winter Garden, Aberdeen. There we will meet up with those gardeners whom we entertained in Dundee when they visited us in May this year. The numbers should be suffient to organise a coach. 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Report of Meeting

At the meeting of 23rd May the Friends welcomed the statement by Jim McGeorge. Secretary to the University.
"Following the University's affirmation of its continued commitment to its Botanic Garden and the re-establishment of the Advisory Group in 2010, considerable work has gone into developing a new vision for the Garden focussed on supporting the University's educational research and public engagement activities and acting as a key point of interaction between the University and the local and national communities.

The vision forsees the the creation of a 'Horticultural Development Plan' to provide the focus for future investment and fundraising to support the work of the Garden in conserving the natural environment and hosting ex-situ conservation programmes; and a 'Capital and Commercial Plan' to enhance the infrastructure of the Garden in ways that increase its attractiveness as a visitor destination and/or generate additional commercial revenues."

The summary of the Friends' spending during the last year and the report on the background to the Endowment Trust that were presented at the meeting are availble as pages in this blog.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Plant Sale

The suns shone and Saturday's sale organised by the Friends
was a great success,
raising approximately £1000 for the Garden.

Ready, steady.....

Friday, 27 April 2012

Friends' Meeting

A meeting will be held on Wednesday, 23rd May at 7.0 PM in the Education Centre to update Friends on the progress towards establishing an Endowment Trust for the Garden The form is expected to be short presentations on behalf of the Trust and the University to explain how the Trust fits in with the strategic plans for the Garden, followed by a period for questions and discussion.
There will also be an opportunity to see the proposals for redesigning the front entrance to the Garden.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Plant Sale

The sale will take place on the afternoon of
Saturday, 12th May from 2 - 4 PM
For further informations and plant donations please phone
01382 665719

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Dates for 2012

12th May
Plant Sale
2 - 4 pm Botanic Garden
16th May at 2.0 pm
Guided tour of  Riverside Nature Park
23rd May
Update on Endowment Trust
Evening meeting
7.0 PM at the Education Centre                                             
9th or 10th June
Outing to Binny Plants &  Gardens
details to be confirmed           
Ist July
Outing to Madeleine Tinson at Parkkhead
 House, Perth, to see the Chris North Lilies
with Plant Heritage
provision cost £6
12th September , evening

17th October, evening
Bulbs of Asia Minor
Evening lecture
Michael Almond

Monday, 6 February 2012

Free Talk

There is a talk in the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum  on Tues 14 February at 6pm when Alan Elliott of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh will speak about the pioneering botanists of Angus.
The early 19th century saw a number of botanists that, despite their humble roots in Angus, had a major impact on the horticultural and botanical world. This talk explores some of these extraordinary characters and the fascinating plants they found from their explorations in Africa, Australia, the Americas and closer to home.  
Refreshments will be served after the talk. Please enter by the main front door of the Carnelley Building.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Wednesday, 15th February at 7.0 pm in the Education Centre
The Importance of Bees - a talk by Gavin Ramsay of the James Hutton Institute.

Everyone welcome - we appreciate a small donation (£2) from non-members.

Note: This year the date of the Friends' AGM is changing from May to September. There will be further information about the change along with details of a possibility of paying subscriptions on line in the next Newsletter.