Visit Scotland Expo 2014
Glasgow, Perthshire Highlands, Stirling, the Trossachs & Edinburgh
April 2, 2014 – April 6th, 2014


April 2

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.

April 3
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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