Brewing up awareness of threat to coffee at top gardening show
Coffee, one of the world’s favourite drinks and now facing threat from climate change, is the inspiration behind Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) horticulturist Kirsty Wilson’s show garden at this year’s Gardening Scotland event.
Kirsty, a Garden Supervisor and new presenter on BBC television’s popular Beechgrove Garden, created the Coffee Garden while studying for her RBGE Diploma in Garden Design. Now, she and fellow students will be making the garden a reality for this year’s three-day event at Ingliston, Edinburgh.
Kirsty, delighted that her design was selected by a panel of judges, explained: “We all love coffee, it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures. However, many people forget that it is derived from a plant. Although there are 125 species of coffee, we only use two of them to produce the popular beverage - Coffea arabica and Coffea robusta."
“At a time when climate change is arguably the most pressing of global challenges, RBGE is working with global partners to address the central issue of worldwide plant conservation. The Coffee Garden highlights its work of protecting plant species before they disappear and monitoring the situation to understand the speed with which their habitats are changing.’’
Many coffee plantations are based on one plant meaning low genetic diversity resulting in low tolerance to pests and diseases. The Coffee Garden reflects RBGE’s commitment to educate people about plants, connecting people with nature and making a positive impact on the world.
The colour theme for the Coffee Garden is bitter chocolate, lime green and soft apricot – inspiration taken by Kirsty from the shades of the fruit from the Coffee plant.
Gardening Scotland will run from Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June.
For further information or images please contact Sandra Donnelly on 0131 248 1037/07554115908 or Shauna Hay on 0131 248 2900/07824529028
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is currently working in Colombia as it is one of the most biodiverse countries on earth. Practically every kind of ecosystem can be found within its borders. Colombia is one of the world’s greatest coffee-producing nations, selling US $2.64 billion around the world each year. RBGE Colombia aims to study the biogeography, evolution and conservation of Colombian biomes. Field expeditions are being conducted in close collaboration with local communities and researchers in areas of Paramo, mountain forest, cloud forest, dry forest and lowland rain forest.
The Coffee Garden highlights RBGE’s outreach abroad and highlights the institution’s impact on explaining and exploring the world of plants for a better future - see more.
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is a leading international research organisation delivering knowledge, education and plant conservation action around the world. In Scotland its four Gardens at Edinburgh, Benmore, Logan and Dawyck attract around a million visitors each year. It operates as a Non Departmental Public Body established under the National Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985, principally funded by the Scottish Government. It is also a registered charity, managed by a Board of Trustees appointed by Ministers. Its mission is “To explore, conserve and explain the world of plants for a better future”.
Learn more: www.rbge.org.uk
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