The 2014 National Meeting will be held at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. Edinburgh has plenty to delight the Australasian plant enthusiast, with many hardier species outside in the rock garden area and more tender ones in and around the glasshouses. There are also many species to see from southern Africa and South America and the Garden holds the national collection of Vireya rhododendrons of which there are a few Australian representatives. If you have a specific interest it is worth checking out the catalogue of living collections beforehand (go to the website and click on ‘databases’).
All members are most welcome to attend. Please don’t feel that you have to be very knowledgeable about Australasian plants: you don’t! The whole day, including the annual general meeting will be quite informal, with the focus on discussion and learning, both from the visit and from each other.
We will meet at 11am in the reception area in the John Hope Gateway, just inside the West Gate entrance in Arboretum Place. There are interesting exhibits, and a restaurant, where you can pass the time should you arrive early. (The Garden opens at 10 am and there is no admission charge.)
The day will begin with the business bit, a short annual general meeting lasting until about lunchtime. With two restaurants and a cafe selling snacks there are plenty of places to eat if you don’t want to bring a packed lunch. This will be followed by a tour of the Garden, including the glasshouses. The APS will pay the glasshouse entry charge for members. Closing time is 6 pm.
Should you want to bring plants to swap there will be an opportunity to do this but for bio-security reasons members’ plants can’t be taken into the Garden. Within the Garden itself there is an outdoor plant sales centre, profits from which are used directly to support RBGE’s work.
The RBGE is situated just off the A902, one mile north of the city centre (EH3 5LR for satnav users). According to the website there is extensive parking (free at weekends and evenings) around the perimeter of the Garden and on adjacent side streets. However spaces may well fill up quickly after opening time. The nearest rail station is Edinburgh Waverley, which is 1½ miles away and is connected to the Garden by Lothian Buses service 8 which stops at the East Gate in Inverleith Row. The East Gate is also very close to the National Cycle Network Route 75, a dedicated traffic-free cycle path. A limited amount of bicycle parking is available at both the East and West Gates but bicycles are not allowed in the gardens.
If you intend to come please advise Judy Clark (editor@ anzplantsoc.org.uk)