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AGS funds help refurbish traditional RBGE alpine house

August 31, 2018

In 2017, we donated £5,000 towards the £100,000 refurbishment of the traditional alpine house at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). This follows on from the £5,000 donation we made to the construction of a modern alpine house which was completed in 2013.

About RBGE

Established in 1670, the 70 acre RBGE is just a 20 minute walk from Edinburgh city centre. It boasts one of the finest plant collections anywhere in the world. The rock garden is a superb example of this style of horticulture. There are over 5,000 alpine plants and a series of waterfalls, cascades, streams and bridges.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh traditional alpine house Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh traditional alpine house

The alpine houses and trough yard occupy a very small party of the garden but are very high on impact. Ours is one of the few public gardens able to demonstrate traditional and modern ways of growing alpines simultaneously. This is very important for education. We couldn't have carried out the refurbishment without the generous support of a great number of individuals and organisations, including the Alpine Garden Society.

RBGE Regius Keeper Simon Milne

The traditional house sits just a few yards from the modern alpine house. Its main purpose is to protect vulnerable plants from rain. It also provides good ventilation and shading to prevent overheating.

The refurbishment project involved:

  • Replacing the cedar timbers that make up the sides and roof of the alpine house
  • Renewing the cedar on the external cold frames. These run along each side of the house and on two separate rows of frames beside it.
  • Repaving the area around the house (the setting for a rejuvenated trough yard)

The alpine house was originally constructed in 1975. Its sand plunge staging contains plants brought out from RBGE’s behind-the-scenes alpine collection when in flower. This colourful display is a big attraction for visitors. One of the cold frames to the side of the house contains a peat bed with ericaceous plants.

Help us

Any donation is valuable as it allows us to provide funds for various projects involving alpine plants