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Inverness Botanic Gardens celebrates 30th Anniversary

IBG 30th Anniversary

The now Inverness Botanic Gardens was first opened in 1993 as the ‘Inverness Floral Hall and Gardens’ by Provost W.A.E. Fraser and later by HRH Prince Edward.

To celebrate the incredible history and people involved in the Inverness Botanic Gardens through the years, a 30th Anniversary Celebration was held on Wednesday 20th September for High Life Highland staff, volunteers, and guests.

Many staff and guests were in attendance, including several long-serving volunteers from the GROW Project, who have witnessed the development of Inverness Botanic Gardens for over two decades.

Invited along to provide live music throughout the evening were local music ensembles ‘Strumness Ukuleles’ and Tain Royal Academy’s ‘Gizzen Briggs’, organised by Norman Bolton, High Life Highland’s Head of Music Development.

Norman said: “It is always a pleasure to be invited to help with organising and celebrating an event of this importance to the Highlands, amongst colleagues and guests.

“Strumness Ukuleles and Gizzen Briggs were both in great form at this event, with musical members indulging in the celebrations outside of their performance – I’m extremely grateful to High Life Highland’s Music Instructors, Adult Volunteers, and Members, who were able to be in the band for the evening.

“Like the plants at Inverness Botanic Gardens, it’s a pleasure to see so many young Highland musicians ‘grow’ as they develop their musical skills and participate in these events through High Life Highland’s Instrumental Tuition Service.”

Included in the entertainment offering was James Clark, a local magician known as the ‘Inverness Illusionist’, evoking brilliant reactions from guests with his tricks throughout the evening.

Jamie Thomson and Natalie Gilray of ‘Laughter Yoga’ also provided plenty of fun and joviality to the atmosphere, pleasing crowds with their contagious laughter.

On Wednesday 15th November, they will be facilitating a unique event at the Inverness Botanic Gardens which combines the therapeutic benefits of laughter yoga and the calming practice of forest bathing. Further information here: https://shorturl.at/lzEHU

All this happened across the glass houses where Inverness Botanic Gardens were also hosting their first ever art exhibition, ‘Living with SMART’ by Brandon Gunn and Evija Laivina, which closed on Monday 25th September.

Ewan Mackintosh, High Life Highland’s Facility Manager at Inverness Botanic Gardens, added: “The team at the Inverness Botanic Gardens were just thrilled to be hosting colleagues and friends for an evening of deserved celebration.

“Every day is different in the Gardens. The sights, sounds and smells change with the weather and seasons, but the beauty remains constant. Entering the Tropical and Cactus house transports you to the other side of the world and the outside area showcases the best of Highland horticultural.

“I love the contrast when you enter the GROW Project. It’s wild, free range, and experimental. It’s all about growing people rather than the plants. I feel very lucky to be part of such a lovely community of passionate people and can’t wait to see what the next few years bring.”

Installed around the space were a number of informational boards, showing fascinating and insightful archive material from the Inverness Highland Archive and Registration Centre (IHARC) along with interpretation from renowned historian and author Norman Newton.

Staff and guests were treated to delicious vegan and vegetarian catering by Saleem and Layla of ‘Zepice’: chickpea falafels, curried dahl, and their most-loved dish, chow mein.

To close the evening, High Life Highland’s Facility Manager Ewan Mackintosh surprised the crowds with a bagpipe solo followed by a short but sentimental speech.

Meanwhile, two celebratory cakes were brought through to be cut and shared for dessert, one of which was thoughtfully baked and decorated by volunteer Catriona Russell to match the Cactus House setting.

Inverness Botanic Gardens is open from 10am to 4pm, 7 days a week. Drop by to learn more, experience what the picturesque site has on offer, or speak to staff about the various ongoing projects and volunteering opportunities.

Entry is free, but please consider donating to the Inverness Botanic Garden. Every donation is gratefully received and will go directly towards the maintenance and improvement of the Gardens.

Find out what else is happening at Inverness Botanic Gardens by visiting High Life Highland’s dedicated webpage: https://www.highlifehighland.com/inverness-botanic-gardens/

Get in touch with Inverness Botanic Garden: [email protected]