The Lost Words

The Lost Words

Sat 19 May — Sun 2 Sept 2018

10.30 am — 5.30 pm
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (find us)
Inverleith House
All ages
No booking required

The Lost Words is a unique collaborative project between writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris. Taking the form of both an exhibition and a book, The Lost Words celebrates the relationship between language and the living world, and of nature’s power to spark the imagination.

Robert Macfarlane has created a series of spell-poems; one for each lost word; while Jackie Morris, inspired by her lifelong passion for Britain’s landscapes and wildlife, has painted beautiful watercolours and used gold leaf to take the viewer on a journey that makes the familiar magical once more.

Nature seems increasingly to be retreating from our children's stories and imaginations. In response to this widening gulf between childhood and the natural world, The Lost Words seeks to conjure that vanishing wildness back into existence through images and writing. 


Visiting The Lost Words

The Lost Words exhibition is suitable for people of all ages, please share the experience with your friends and family. Remember the spells are to be spoken out loud!

Individuals, small groups and families are welcome at any time without booking. If you want to bring a larger group please let us know by phoning 0131 248 2849 or emailing

We can also offer a short introduction to the exhibition, the use of our education room and an activity trail that enables you locate some of The Lost Words in the Botanic Garden.

There is also a downloadable Explorers Guide for The Lost Words from the John Muir Trust that can be found here: Explorer’s Guide to The Lost Words


The Lost Words is curated by Compton Verney, with Hamish Hamilton and Penguin Books.

“DON’T MISS… an evocative exhibition designed to keep children and adults in touch with nature.” Plant Life Magazine

 Image: Kingfisher © Compton Verney, photo by Jamie Woodley  

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The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)