New gate forges strong links between RBGE and Nepal
A new gate at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) provides a striking feature at the edge of the Nepalese Garden and symbolises the strong working relationship between RBGE and the South Asian country.
At the official opening of the Nepalese Gate, a bell was hung by Sanjeev Kumar Rai, Director General of the Department of Plant Resources (DPR), the national body responsible for plant biodiversity in Nepal, and RBGE’s main partner for the Flora of Nepal programme.
The Nepalese Garden has been developing over the past three years with new plantings and the installation of prayer flags. The new gate, supported by the Friends of RBGE Small Projects Fund, was built by members of the South East Scotland branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association - Richard Love, Alan Fox and Dave Taylor, ably assisted by Garden staff. The brass bell was brought back to Scotland by RBGE scientist Bhaskar Adhikari during a recent trip to his homeland for the Flora of Nepal project.
Horticulturist Will Hinchliffe got the idea for creating the gate at the Edinburgh Garden during an expedition with RBGE colleagues to far west Nepal in 2017. He explained: “We spent much of our time following a pilgrimage trail which was waymarked with stone gates. The gates are found on mountain tops and in villages. It is custom to pick flowers, place them on top and ring the bell three times. I loved these gates, they marked progress as we trekked and were all different. They were often refuge to plants that grew on the mountain ridges and gave a sense that we were somewhere that was spiritually very important to many people.’’
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