Visit Scotland Expo 2014
Glasgow, Perthshire Highlands, Stirling, the Trossachs & Edinburgh
April 2, 2014 – April 6th, 2014
I had all my visits with suppliers planned for this day so it
was a very busy one. The expo set up was fantastic and so much
fun. Around every corner they were handing out samples of
everything from nibbles to whiskey. It was so easy to lose track
of time here in between meetings but I had little to spare. By 6
pm we were off to ‘Scotland in the City’ at Merchant Square. We
all arrived to find music and the many restaurants all set up
for us. You could decide what you wanted to eat and drink while
the music played. It was crazy! At nine I headed back to the
hotel for some much needed sleep.
I planned this day free so that I could visit the Glasgow
Botanic Gardens. I took a cab over because I wasn’t sure of the
distance but I decided to walk back to the hotel – which in
hindsight was a very long but delightful walk.
Thomas Hopkirk, a distinguished Glasgow botanist, was the
founder of the Botanic Gardens and with the support of a number
of local dignitaries and the University of Glasgow the Gardens
were set up in 1817. The Garden was originally laid out on an 8
acre site at Sandyford at the western end of Sauchiehall Street
(at that time, on the edge of the city). Laying out the grounds
was the work of Stewart Murray, the first curator. Three
thousand plants were donated by Hopkirk as the nucleus of the
collection. The Garden flourished to such an extent that in 1839
a new site, to the west of the city on the banks of the River
Kelvin, was purchased to house the rapidly expanding
collections. In 1842 the new Gardens – on their present site –
were opened to members of the Royal Botanic Institution of
Glasgow who owned and managed the Botanic Garden. The public
were admitted at weekends for a small charge.
In 1821 William Jackson Hooker, one of the most eminent
botanists in the world at the time, was appointed to the Regius
Chair of Botany at the University of Glasgow. During the twenty
years the Gardens were under his guidance they went from
strength to strength. In 1825 the collections numbered 12,000.
In 1841 Hooker was appointed Director of the Royal Botanic
Gardens, Kew. David Douglas was born at Scone near Perth. In
1820 he took up a post at Glasgow Botanic Gardens. Professor
Hooker took a great liking to Douglas and the two men made a
number of botanical trips together to the Scottish Highlands
while Hooker was writing his book “Flora Scotica.” It was on
Hooker’s recommendation that the Horticultural Society (not yet
‘Royal’) employed Douglas in 1823 as an explorer. He was sent to
North America and in 1826 sent home seeds of Pseudotsuga
menziesii – the Douglas Fir.
There are many glasshouses to wander through and since it was a
bit nippy outside it was a wonderful relaxing time for me.
Afterwards I decided to have tea in the Tearoom. I had a perfect
view of one of the glasshouses and a scone that was so huge I
could not eat all of it. The tea warmed me up and I was ready to
walk in the fields to enjoy some of the thousands of daffodils
before my trek back. You can see the gloves I even wore to keep
my hands warm.
At 4 pm we met back at the convention center all packed and
ready to leave for Perth. We were staying at the Ballathie House
Hotel so time to freshen up and enjoy a most wonderful dinner
there after looking at some of the rooms they offered. This was
the time my camera started acting up and giving me very dark
shots, sorry about that.
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