Tag Archives: Botanics

A view through the Botanics

A stunning view on today’s walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh.

Out on my walk today and I had to stop and try and capture this view through the botanical gardens. Looking back through the trees to the Chinese gardens you can see the three spires of St Mary’s Cathedral in the distance.

Inverleith House is just around the corner on the right, with the gallery and cafe too. I love a walk through the ever changing gardens, and think of myself very lucky to have such a walk near to home.

Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh website.

The John Muir Grove

A beautiful circle of Redwoods rising like columns into the tree canopy, this quiet part of the RBGE is wonderful.

Often used as a place to be married and I can see why, the magnificent redwoods create quite a cathedral of nature as you stand beneath them, just off the path through the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh.

I am lucky to live close by and the ever changing gardens are a favourite place for me to come and draw, surrounded by nature but within the heart of the city.

This drawing is available as a print through my etsy shop HERE.

Drawing the Gardens

The stunning Rock Garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh, I am lucky to have this place in walking distance from my home.

This weekend my wife and I had the house to ourselves as our kids, now 10 years old went to their Aunties for a couple of days.

We spent Sunday walking around Stockbridge, visiting the second hand shops and a walk through the Botanical Gardens. I had a lovely hour sitting by the rock garden making this sketch of the beautifully kept banks of colour and fragrance.

What a blessing to have a little time to sit and relax with my pens and watercolours, focusing in on the details and the wonder of nature in full bloom.

Remember if visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh that you currently have to pre book your free visit.

Christmas at the Botanics, the final few days

imageThe Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is currently running a magical outdoor trail of light celebrating Christmas.

You have just two more chances to see this years Christmas at the Botanics, a stunning light show which is fast becoming another must do annual event in the capital.

I visited it’s the family and seeing the gardens lit up is truly a magical experience for all, the Sketcher twins (age 6) in particular love seeing the trees in a rainbow of colour.

For me I loved the ‘singing’ tall trees, each one lighting up the surrounding vegetation in a different colour and tone, creating a choir of trees. As people stopped to listen to the illuminated towering figures I sketched in pencil,colouring later from memory.

If you can I recommend you grab one of the last tickets (either today or Saturday) to this magical experience, there are many highlights in the mile long trail as it winds its way around the famous grounds. It’s always great to see a well known place in a new light.

This sketch was drawn in pencil, with watercolour.

The Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh website.


Stone details from the Botanics

Botanics Queen Pavillion detailThis stylised architectural detail on a pavilion window is full of character and beautifully carved.

One of my main reasons for starting Edinburgh Sketcher was to highlight the exquisite details found around the city which often get overlooked or missed in the everyday commute through the streets of Edinburgh.

This one may be a little off the beaten track in the Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh for most commuters but the detail and artistry on show is worth a visit. The stag I have sketched makes up part of the stone window frame on the pavilion in the Queen Mother Memorial Garden, which was designed by Lachlan Stewart of Anta Architecture.

Inside the pavilion is a beautiful stained glass landscape and hundreds of shells on the wall, a great place for the children to play and hide but remember to also look outside for the stag!

Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh website

Sketch made with pen and watercolour.


Botanic Lights once more illuminates and transforms the Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh

botanicslights2016_houseAs green spaces are turned orange with fallen leaves and the evenings are getting darker quicker, it is time once again to wrap up warm and head to Edinburgh’s Botanic gardens for a light show to amaze and stimulate.

After being out of the country for a week it was great to be back in Edinburgh and what better way to soak up the autumnal weather which greated us but with a walk around the Botanics. Usually a haven of peace and calm, for a short time every autumn the famous landscaped gardens are transformed into a trail of colour, sound, light and projection.


There are food and drinks carts to warm you as you walk – the marsh mallows, hot chocolate and mulled wine went down very well with the Sketcher Clan.

I captured a few of the sights in my sketch book but there was so much more to see, we all enjoyed changing the colour of the trees with little touch screens, and especially the water show on the duck pond which had all the crowd gasping and cheering.

Head along to see the event which runs to November 6th, it will put you in the cosy wintry mood for sure. Book via the links below, tickets cost around £7.50 to £15.00.


All sketches were made with black fine liner and a watercolour wash. 

Botanic Lights website

Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh website

Lights and music bring to life the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh at night

BotanicLights_manytreesAs night fell on Edinburgh last Friday evening the Sketcher twins, my wife and I all entered the gates of a place we thought we knew well…

The Botanic Gardens are one of my favourite places in Edinburgh, an ever changing world of colour, peace and beauty, with stunning views over the city. Since the twins arrived four years ago we have visited often and like to think we know the gardens well, stunningly beautiful yes, but perhaps not surprising any more.


That was until we entered ‘Botanics Lights 2015 – Seasons in Colour’, a magical evening of light, sound and nature combining to create a wonderful journey for both young and old. Designed by leading Scottish lighting artist Grant Anderson working with composer Claire McKenzie to create a unique night-time experience, including interactive light shows and hypnotic displays throughout the gardens.


Following the pathways we were all in awe, the children especially; the ‘magic house’ (Inverleith House, above) and the lightning tree were amongst their favourites, as was jumping over the swinging spot lights.  For me I could of watched and listened to the illuminated Glasshouse and its orchestral rhythms for hours.

These are my sketches from the evening, some hastily scribbled in the dark, others from memory whilst sipping a mulled wine in the warmth of the gardens restaurant.


Botanics Lights 2015 runs nightly until 22 November, an adult ticket costs £14 but you can get a family ticket for £38. For more information follow the link below.


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh website



Caledonian Hall in the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

CaledonianHall_RBGEThe Caledonian Hall resides inside the Royal Botanic Gardens, on the north side of Edinburgh.

Yesterday I broke free from the desk, left the accounts to another duller day and instead set of on two wheels looking for some green space in the glorious sunshine. Not far from home I found the beautiful and ever changing Botanic Gardens and it’s impressive Hall.


Built in 1842 and overlooking the rock garden, the building is an amazing venue for weddings and other events, able to accommodate around 100 guests with the option of an marquee to provide additional floor space. It’s also a great place to sit infront of on an autumnal day in Edinburgh.


Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh website.



Autumn colours

The Sketcher family had a great afternoon playing in the leaves at the Botanics yesterday. The twins are toddling around now and were loving running through the leaves and rolling about. So good there’s a dog free place to play for them, safe they aren’t going to roll in any muck.
We brought some of the leaves back and they made collages for Granny.
We got the leaves out again this morning, now dried out and crispy – and a lot messier to play with!

Black fineliner sketch with a watercolour wash. Available to buy as an original or one of 100 numbered prints.