Tackling environmental challenges through botanical research
The University of Dundee Botanic Garden is an important centre for research and education, and many rare species of flora and fauna are safeguarded here. This panel showcases highlights from the Garden, and it also acknowledges the potential impact of the Eden Project in Dundee, and its initial focus on rewilding with wildflower meadows.
1. Seasonal highlights
The Botanic Garden’s display of plants and trees changes with every season.
2. The living laboratory
Climate change, population growth and the unsustainable use of natural resources all present serious challenges to global biodiversity. With important plant collections from across the world, Dundee’s Botanic Garden undertakes research and education to help mitigate these challenges.
3. Soil secrets
What happens below ground, as plants grow, is an important aspect of botanical research.
4. Garden of Evolution
The Garden of Evolution is a recent addition to the Botanic Garden and is surrounded by decorative drystone dykes (walls). The garden represents the evolution of plants from primitive lichens and mosses to colourful flowering plants which now provide food for birds and insects.
5. ‘The Bridge’ sculpture
Created by Canadian artist Ron Martin, this sculpture was originally installed in Hunter Street in the 1980s, where the University of Dundee’s Dalhousie Building is now located. This sculpture represents the bridge from a cello or a double bass.
6. Pond life
Several ponds here create freshwater eco-systems that reflect different environments across Scotland.
7. Wildflower meadows
In 2022, community groups and schools helped to sow wildflower meadows across the city, in partnership with Eden Project Dundee.
8. Plants, people and places
The Botanic Garden is a busy place, with an education centre, an art gallery, a café, and greenhouses. In 2011, the University of Dundee’s Architecture, Physics and Engineering departments also introduced a zero-energy, self-sufficient studio – the first entirely renewable‐powered ‘off‐grid’ building to be constructed in the UK. The Botanic Garden even has its own elephant: a wooden sculpture called Nellie, created by Graham Hogg.
9. The Good Grief Memorial Garden
This garden opened in 2023 to honour victims of the Covid 19 pandemic – the first memorial garden of its kind in Scotland. The idea for the garden came from Lorena Weepers during her final year at Dundee University, and the design was developed with local landscape architect Keith Lando Vernon, and Scottish glass artist, Cass Peters who created the season-themed fused glass obelisks.