Tag Archives: RBGE

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.


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 in the Royal Botanical Gardens of Edinburgh

AutumnLeavesCones_RBGEToday’s sketch is of a few items I gathered after a lovely walk through the Botanics on Sunday. 


Fir cones, pine needles and golden, crunchy leaves. All things which now carpet the RBGE grounds along with busy squirrels, gathering the falling acorns and stashing them out of sight. Head there just now to see the wonderful colours as the low autumn sunshine streams through the few leaves that still hang on the trees.


I could spend days, weeks there and not sketch the same scene twice. Hopefully I’ll be back soon. This sketch is drawn in fine liner ink, no pencil. With a water colour wash to finish.


  • The Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh



Botanic blood boiler

Went to @TheBotanics on Saturday, one of my favourite places in Edinburgh.

However we were chased out of the Terrace Cafe by a stinking mop and bucket. Why must staff put chairs up and mop around tables before closing time? It leaves a bad taste – literally as I could only smell (and taste) dettle in the air. I was put off my coffee and cake (very important!) and the family next to us felt they had to rush their food after being assured they had time to eat before sitting down.

I know plenty of cafes and restaurants do this, but it winds me up, especially where food is being served. And it is unnecessary, if the staff want to get away early then they should adjust their closing times accordingly, and only start cleaning the restaurant after customers have left. 

Rant over. The sketch is of Inverleith House, just next to the Terrace Cafe, go early 😉