Royal Botanics lights up with spectacular Christmas display

Nine singing conifers each with different voices make up the Choir of Trees, which is a centrepiece of "Christmas at the Botanics".
Nine singing conifers each with different voices make up the Choir of Trees, which is a centrepiece of "Christmas at the Botanics".
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ONE OF Scotland’s most popular botanical gardens has been lit up in a spectacular night-time trail of colours, unveiled for the first time tonight.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) will be illuminated at night by a series of light installations as part of the inaugural “Christmas at the Botanics”.

A night-time trail of colours will greet visitors to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RGBE).

A night-time trail of colours will greet visitors to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RGBE).

Scotland’s newest festive event will see visitors following a one-mile trail through the gardens’ thousands of trees and plants, which are all aglow.

The event, which has involved a host of Scottish, UK and international installation artists and lighting designers, will run for 29 selected nights until Saturday, December 30.

Families are told to expect to “stimulate their senses” as light, sound and visual effects are used to transform the garden’s landscape.

Highlights include “The Choir of Trees” – nine “singing conifers” each with a different voice – the scented Fire Garden, and Bloom on Inverleith House Lawn, made up of 1000 illuminated spheres.

A scented fire garden is part of the display at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).

A scented fire garden is part of the display at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).

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Children can enjoy a ultraviolet tunnel of bubbles, while Santa and his elves perform a short Christmas vignette.

Simon Milne, the regius keeper of RBGE, said: “The incredible display of lighting installations at Christmas at the Botanics provides a wonderful opportunity for visitors to experience the garden like never before. Also, by buying a ticket visitors are helping to support our plant science and conservation work.”

The RBGE is at the heart of efforts to save endangered habitats, often bringing plants that are threatened back to Scotland to research them and to develop conservation strategies.

Mr Milne added: “At this time of year, when we are all thinking about Christmas trees, holly wreaths and so many other delights from the plant kingdom, there is a wonderful synergy with the light trail and the work we do.”

Christmas at the Botanics replaces the previous Botanic Lights event that last year attracted a record 42,000 people.

The new event is being delivered in association with concerts and events promoter Raymond Gubbay.

Jonathan Marks, chief development officer at Raymond Gubbay Ltd, said: “Along with event partners Culture Creative, we are thrilled to be involved in the first Christmas at the Botanics. There’s something for everyone to enjoy from singing conifers to mistletoe moments and festive foodie treats. It really is an occasion for all of the family.”

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