Friday, 13 November 2015

Botanic Lights at the RBGE

As I mentioned in my last post here David and I had a wee night out on Tuesday. I'd booked us tickets to go and see the Botanic Lights display in the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. We'd planned to go last year but never got there, other things got in the way as is the way of life. It was touch and go on Tuesday as to whether it would go ahead, due to the strong winds and heavy rain we've had since last weekend. A quick phone call confirmed it was on, so we made our way into town through heavy rain. Luckily as we parked up the rain stopped and stayed dry for the rest of the evening! 

Multi coloured trees

I was looking forward to seeing the display and was very impressed by the whole event, my photos don't really do it justice. To begin with there were multi coloured, illuminated trees taking you towards the Chinese Garden. As we went past the waterfall it lit up in blue with subtle music in the background. Then there was mulled wine, which was very nice as we wandered along. The display in the Chinese garden was a eye catching mix of water, fire and music. With oriental influenced music came water spouts mixed flames, clever! We had a great view from the bridge before walking down to the pavilion to watch it again from a different perspective.

The Chinese Garden display of fire and water

From here we meandered up the hill towards the house. There were fine views of the city lights towards the castle as we reached the top and another impressive display projected onto the front of Inverleith House with musical accompaniment. From micro organisms to plants growing up the walls of the house then the windows lighting up as if some one switching lights on and off, it was pretty cool. 

The display on Inverleith House

Covered in vines

City lights through a shiny green ring

Illuminated leaves in the pond beside Inverleith House

The cafe at the house was open for hot drinks and refreshments but we carried on, as we planned to eat out after. On the path down to the glasshouses there were several interactive light displays. Some reacted to sound, turning on and off with clapping hands or a shout and others you could press a button to make the "lightening" fork down the tree. Great for the kids that were visiting in other parties, they loved clapping their hands to see how high they could make the lights go.

Gold and blue

The beautiful palm house was further enhanced by a great light display. Every couple of minutes it changed colour and you could tweet which season you wanted to see on the building. I'm not sure which one I liked best, all of them I think. 

The palm house in blue

or red and blue

or blue and white

Or a sumptuous purple and gold

Next was the newer glasshouses where lights zipped up and down the diamond shaped frame work to music. Next to the illuminated monkey puzzle trees this had a more abstract look.

Diamonds and Monkey puzzle trees

Walking down to the pond

The last display down at the big pond was a choreography of lights, fire and sound depicting Edinburgh through the year, with sounds of the festival, tattoo and Hogmany. 

Edinburgh in lights, fire and sound

Reflections in the lake

Illuminated bull rushes

Blues and yellows on the pond


Gunnera illuminations

We really enjoyed our experience of the Botanic Lights and finished off the night at an good Chinese restaurant I've eaten at before, it was an excellent meal again.

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  1. We went to this too...a wonderful evening... we too were quite baffled by the miracle of flames coming out of the pond. We wondered if they had mixed kerosene in with the pondwater?!

    1. Hi, thanks for commenting, we wondered if it was kerosene too, as there was quite a strong smell similar to it when the flames were in action. Hope you got good weather for your visit too. :)

  2. Now that must have been a really magical evening Rona. I hope that you, garden and nursery are not getting too battered by the elements this weekend. The weather gods are certainly not in a benevolent mood.

    1. Hi Anna, it was a really good evening, and we ended up being so lucky with the weather. We have survived so far, not much flooding either, but there is very heavy rain and winds forecast for here again tonight, up to an amber warning, so I am hoping our fix on the office roof will hold up. So far the poly tunnel is still in one piece. All that rain we didn#t get in October is arriving at once I think :(

  3. A must visit for me next year...come hell or high water! It must have been a relief that the rain stopped at the right time. Great pictures Rona.

    1. Definitely worth doing Angie, we were lucky with the weather, it was interesting to see the gardens in a whole new way :)