University of Dundee Botanic Garden
Location: Dundee, Scotland
The University of Dundee Botanic Garden was originally designed as an ecology garden for the University in 1971. The garden itself is 27 acres, with a further 39 acres of green space spread across the university campus, including sports fields and ornamental planting. In the botanic garden, there are three full-time staff members and one apprentice, as well as 15 regular volunteers. There is also 5 staff members who maintain the green spaces around the university campus.
The garden team actively engage with the wider community with a number of projects, including ‘Wee Forests’, which is creating a patchwork of micro-woodlands across the city. The garden hosts various events such as theatre, music, and art exhibitions, and works with both the university and local schools to host educational activities. As of this year, the team made a pledge to use no pesticides and grow fully organically and have partnered with Garden Organic in this venture.
The plantings are laid out in phytosociological and phytogeographical themes. There is a large glasshouse featuring a tropical, temperate, and arid plant collections. The outdoor gardens include a large area dedicated to native species, representing eight regional habitats from coastal to upland. The team hold plant collections representing Asia (a large historically valuable Rhododendron collection), Australasia, North America, South America, South Africa, and the Mediterranean. There is an Evolution Garden representing the APGIII classification system, as well as vegetable plots, a rose garden, and a fruit garden. There is also a new memorial garden which offers visitors a place to feel calm and contemplative.
In the large nursery, the team propagate plants for the garden and wider university grounds. They are also engaged with the National Trust for Scotland on a conservation project to grow and protect three rare arctic alpine species.
As a trainee, you would have the opportunity to gain experience working within all areas of the botanical garden, including the tropical and temperate glasshouse, and the outdoor areas, as well as to learn how we catalogue our plants in the IrisBG database.
Placements available: One
Staff numbers: 3 full-time professional horticulturalists on site, a further 5 across other sites. 15 volunteers working 3 days a week, 1 HBGTP trainee and an apprentice on a 4-year placement.
Ease of access: The University of Dundee Botanic Garden is situated near Dundee Airport on the outskirts of the City Centre. Dundee train station is located 2.5 miles away.