Back at The Botanics – Six on Saturday

I was back at the fabulous Glasgow Botanic Gardens this week for the launch of the RHS’s Green Plan It challenge. I’m mentoring a group of High School students taking part in this year’s challenge to design a garden and what a day we had!

As part of the day, we got to take the students on a little tour of Glasgow Botanic Gardens and we were able to show them plants they might include in their designs for structure, colour, texture and scent.

Allowing the student to touch some of the plants in the garden helped them with both the sense of touch and of smell. The aptly named Curry plant, or Hellchrysum Itallcum, met with mixed feelings as it really does smell like curry powder although it isn’t used at all in curry dishes. The flowers are used to make an essential oil used in aromatherapy to help with muscle aches and skincare.

Hellchrysum Itallcum, the Curry plant

Geranium oil is one of my favourite essential oil as the smell of it takes me right back to a particular time in my life. The oil of Pelargoniums is widely used in aromatherapy and perfumery and the scent comes from the leaves. It was great to be able to rub the leaves and have that rush of scent flood out.

For colour, the biggest blocks of perennial colour at this time of the year in the gardens of the Botanics are the Sedums and this variety, Hylotelephium Autumn Joy, looked splendid!

Hylotelephium Autumn Joy

I was also keen for the students to think about colour combinations before they started their own garden designs. Mixing pinks and yellows would not have been a colour combination I would have chosen but mixing dwarf Rudbeckias with Sedums works in the setting of the Botanics.

One of the things that is iconic about Glasgow Botanic Gardens is the fabulous beds outside Kibble Palace, always planted up with stunning colour combinations. The Begonias are still going strong at this time of year and never fail to disappoint the eye.

My final image for this week’s Six on Saturday is a plant which has not yet been created! The students, who are around twelve years old, were tasked with designing a plant which had superpowers: my group designed this plant named Cancer Curio. It will produce a pollen which is grounded and added to drinks to cure cancer in a few days. The leaves are also scented to help the patient feel calm and to relieve stress. It was such a joy to help mentor the future, energetic generation of thinkers and gardeners and I cannot wait to support them as they design their gardens for the RHS’s Green Plan It challenge.

Do feel free to me leave a comment on these six as I love to chat about plants! Enjoy reading other #SixonSaturday blogs for information and inspiration as gardeners around the world share six things from their garden on a Saturday. #SixonSaturday is hosted by The Propagator, and you’ll find lots of links on Twitter on the #SixonSaturday hashtag. You can find The Pink Wheelbarrow on Twitter at @PinkWheelbarrow.

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