Emma Thompson and Tilda Swinton share ‘soil stories’

ACTRESSES Emma Thompson and Tilda Swinton are among the well-kent voices that have recorded stories, poems, and songs for a new outdoor exhibition at Scotland’s four royal botanic gardens.

“Of Scotland’s Soils and Soul” – which opens today in Benmore, Dawyck, Edinburgh, and Logan – shares 100 stories next to the plants that inspired them.

“Story stations” in each of the four botanic gardens will allow visitors to hear and read the poetry and prose.

The stories include the premieres of Windblown, Karine Polwart and Pippa Murphy’s ode to the botanics’ famous sabal palm – which was chopped down last year – and India Alba’s musical celebration, commissioned to celebrate the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh’s (RBGE’s) 350th anniversary in 2020.

Emma Nicolson, head of creative programmes at the RBGE, said: “The range, depth, and variety of this gathering of stories – inspired by the land and so many extraordinary plants – truly illustrates the range, depth, and variety of Scottish storytelling.

“From Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame to Bondagers by Sue Glover, we think everyone will leave wanting more.”

Read more news on Scottish Field’s gardens pages.

Plus, don’t miss photographs from a restored Dumfriesshire garden in the August issue of Scottish Field magazine.