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Fascination of Plants Day 2022

The International Fascination of Plants Day on 18 May 2022 is organised by plant scientists across the world under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO). It is an opportunity for people to learn more about plants and their different characteristics and appreciate their importance to our world.

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Overview

From one little seed, planted into soil, many green lives can arise – from small herbs up to big trees, or from ornamental flowers to substantial crops which all animals and mankind need to survive on this planet. Plant biologists estimate the total number of plant species roughly to be about 250,000.

Join plant enthusiasts all around the world and take part in the first-ever virtual Fascination of Plants Day. The goal of the event is to get as many people as possible around the world fascinated by plants and enthused about the importance of plant science for agriculture and sustainable production of nutritious food, as well as for pretty much all aspects of our lives.

Dr Tim George, a plant scientist at The James Hutton Institute in Scotland and UK coordinator of the event, says everyone is invited to celebrate the importance of plants.

“On Wednesday 18 May, join scientific institutions, universities, botanical gardens, museums, schools, farmers and businesses all around the world and take part in Fascination of Plants Day. The event seeks to plant virtual ‘seeds’ in our minds to highlight the critical role of plants in our everyday lives.

“The Fascination of Plants Day covers all plant related topics including basic plant science, agriculture, horticulture, gardening, forestry, plant breeding, plant protection, food, nutrition, environmental conservation, climate change mitigation, smart bioproducts, biodiversity, sustainability, renewable resources, plant science education and art.

“Partners will offer a variety of plant-based interactive events and activities for all, from toddlers to grandparents. Visit plantday18may.org for an updated list of events and locations.” 

In Scotland, The James Hutton Institute will contribute to Plant Power Day 2022 on Saturday 14th May (11 am to 4 pm) at the University of Dundee Botanic Gardens. The Institute will also take part in an event in Aberdeen with Robert Gordon University, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Aberdeen City Council at Duthie Park. There will also be activities in Edinburgh, run by Edinburgh University and Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.


2022 Events

Spring Plant Sale

Saturday 14 May, 10:30 - 12:00

  • Cruickshank Botanic Garden
  • Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
  • Email fcbgmembership@gmail.com for further information.

Garden Tour: Cruickshank Botanic Garden

Saturday 14 May, 13:00 - 15:00

  • Scotland’s Garden Scheme and Cruickshank Botanic Gardens
  • The Cruickshank Botanic Garden is open under the popular charitable scheme from 1pm to 3pm. Head Gardener Richard Walker will be offering a tour of the garden beginning around 1.00pm shortly after the Spring Plant Sale. There is a charge of £5 of which 60% is donated to the Friends of the Cruickshank Garden and 40% to the SGS own charity. Email r.d.walker@abdn.ac.uk for further information.

Planting and Tours of the Winter Gardens with the Duthie Park Ranger Service

Sunday 15 May, 12:30 - 16:00

  • Sunken Area within the David Welch Winter Gardens, Duthie Park
  • Join the Duthie Park Rangers to go on a tour of the Winter Gardens and to plant your own seedling to take home in a handmade paper pot! Tours start at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm from the Sunken Area. All ages welcome, free of charge, no booking required.

Power of Plants

Sunday 15 May, 12:30 - 16:00

  • Sunken Area within the David Welch Winter Gardens
  • Dr Morag McFadyen, Robert Gordon University
  • Hands-on workshop investigating the impact of water stress on plants and the role of climate change.

Agricultural crop growing

Sunday 15 May, 12:30 - 16:00

  • Sunken Area within the David Welch Winter Gardens, Duthie Park
  • Robin Walker, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)
  • Agricultural crops help to feed the world’s population. Growing them efficiently to provide good yields and quality whilst limiting environmental damage is a balance all farmers are tasked with. Using legumes in a rotation can help reduce some inputs like nitrogen fertiliser which requires a lot of energy to produce. Plants (and soil microbes) respond differently to soil pH (soil acidity) and optimising this, as well as the range of agricultural crops being grown, can improve the efficiency of the overall production system and lead to longer term improvements in soil “health”. As part of Fascination of Plants, colleagues from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) will demonstrate a number of these factors and explain how they are interlinked.

Benefits of Wild Plants

Sunday 15 May, 12:30 - 16:00

  • Sunken area within the David Welch Winter Gardens, Duthie Park 
  • Andrea Britton, The James Hutton Institute
  • Scientists from The James Hutton Institute will explore some of the many benefits that people gain from wild plants. Interactive exhibits will demonstrate how plants can help fight climate change by taking up carbon from the atmosphere and how mosses are able to store water.

Mental Health week with a Plant focus

Sunday 15 - Sunday 22 May

  • Aberdeen Science centre - admission to this event is by invitation, free of charge.

Self-guided outdoor garden trail on the theme What’s the Point of Plants?

Monday 16 May to Friday 20 May during opening hours 09:00 - 19:00

  • Cruickshank Botanic Garden
  • Aberdeen Biodiversity Centre, School of Biological Sciences, University of Aberdeen
  • Although often overlooked as a background for colourful or cute animals, plants are vital to all life on earth, including people. From cultural to structural, edible to medicinal, plants have benefited society in endless incredible and sometimes surprising ways. Collect a map from a box close to the Chanonry entrance of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden and follow this self-guided trail through the beautiful gardens to learn about some of the fantastically diverse ways people have used plants throughout the ages. Email elizabeth.campbell@abdn.ac.uk for further information.

Plant Workshops for Primary Classes

Wednesday 18 May, 09:45 - 11:30 and 12:45 - 14:15

  • David Welch Winter Gardens, Duthie Park
  • Duthie Park Ranger Service and Dr Morag McFadyen, Robert Gordon University
  • The Duthie Park Rangers together with Dr Morag McFadyen from the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at Robert Gordon University will be delivering workshops for primary classes focused on plants. The pupils will learn what plants need to grow, experiment with celery and dyes, and also go on a trail around the Winter Gardens looking at some of the most interesting plants and their uses. Suitable for P5-7 pupils, pre-arranged bookings only

Noel Pritchard Memorial Lecture: Glendoick 100 years 1919—2019

Wednesday 18 May, 19:30 - 21:00 

  • Ground Floor Lecture Theatre, Zoology Building, Tillydrone Avenue
  • Guest Speaker Ken Cox & the Friends of the Cruickshank Botanic Garden
  • When Euan Cox accepted the invitation to go plant hunting in Burma with Reginald Farrer, the Cox rhododendron story began. The talk will cover the development of the garden at Glendoick, the nursery, founded in 1953, the new rhododendron and azalea hybrids raised at Glendoick, including the bird series of dwarf rhododendrons and the more recent work on coloured foliage. Peter and Kenneth’s plant hunting expeditions are featured, with some of their best introductions and discoveries. The talk includes stunning photos and video of the gardens at Glendoick and advice on how to grow woodland/acid loving plants. A glossy paperback booklet, Glendoick Centenary 1919 to 2019, accompanies the talk and will be available for purchase. Enquiries to fcbgmembership@gmail.com
  • The Cruickshank Botanic Garden will stay open until 19:30 on 18 May and the Zoology building can be accessed directly from the garden. Please feel free to take a tour of the garden before joining the talk, which is free to all. Refreshments will be served afterwards, also free, though donations are welcome. The lecture will be broadcast on Zoom and the link can be obtained from fcbgmembership@gmail.com

Talk and Walk in the Cruickshank Botanic Garden with Vasileios Kyparissis

Saturday 21 May, 10:00 - 11:30

  • Cruickshank Botanic Gardens Chanonry Entrance
  • Vasileios Kyparissis, University of Aberdeen
  • “The forgotten Kingdom of fungi: interactions between fungi and plants in our arboretum” Vasileios will give a brief introduction to the kingdom of fungi using a laptop and tablet for diagrams and pictures based on his own experience and research. He will focus on the relationships they form with plants, and then go for a walk in the Cruickshank Botanic Garden highlighting important interactions of plants with fungal pathogens, saprotrophs and mycorrhizas. Email Vasileios Kyparissis for further information: billkyp_action93@hotmail.com

Find out more

A full list of events around the globe, along with more information about the Fascination of Plants Day, can be found at the official website:

You can also find more information about the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at RGU.

The Duthie Park Ranger Service provides a range of nature themed educational resources to schools. Find more information and contact details:

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