Fascination of Plants Day 2024

Fascination of Plants Day 2024

Aren’t plants amazing?! So often overlooked, plants provide so much to our world. From one little seed, planted in soil, so much diversity can arise. From tiny herbs, to giant trees; from beautiful flowers to decorate our gardens to substantial crops that feed the world; from producing oxygen to holding our soils together; plants provide so much which humans and all other animals rely on to survive.

Fascination of Plants Day takes place around the world each year on the 18 May and encourages people around the globe to be fascinated by the wonder of plants and consider their huge importance, in our lives, as well as the wider environment.

A series of events across Aberdeen will highlight the importance of plants to society. Activities range from plant sales to workshops exploring the impact of plants on our senses from testing your sense of smell in ‘a herb identifying challenge’ to identifying whether you are a super-taster and might have the bitter-tasting version of the TAS2R38 gene. Visually an open lecture will view gardens through the senses of the Impressionists from Europe, North America and Australia.

The programme is part of the annual Fascination of Plants Day, which encourages people to learn more about the importance of plants and plant science from providing the air we breathe to the sustainable production of nutritious food.  In our workshops we will explore the huge range of biodiversity that depends on our plants and how plants themselves interact with animals and fungi to improve the diets and health of humans and animals. 

Founded in 2012, Fascination of Plants Day has become a global movement with organisations across 56 countries taking part. The programme for this year’s event runs from 16-19 May.

Event co-ordinator Dr Morag McFadyen of Robert Gordon University says “the programme provides a range of fun and interesting events across several local venues. There are opportunities for everyone to get involved and find out more about the many thousands of plant species that exist and how we use them in everyday life. We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors and showcasing the truly fascinating world of plants.”

Organisations running events include the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, Friends of the Cruickshank Garden, Duthie Park Ranger Service, SRUC, and the James Hutton Institute.

Venues include Duthie Park, the Zoology Building at the University of Aberdeen and the Cruickshank Botanic Garden.

2024 Events

Lecture with speaker Caroline Holmes: “Impressionists in their gardens - living light and colour”

  • When: Thursday 16 May 19:30-20:30
  • Where: Zoology Building Lecture Theatre
  • Run by: Friends of Cruickshank Botanic Garden

This lecture explores gardens through the senses of the Impressionists from three continents – Europe, North America and Australia – enjoying the essentially similar pleasures of the garden but engaging with the light from their skies in order to create very different sensations. The enclosure of the garden acts like a picture frame showcasing a living canvas that exudes the individuality, vision and taste of its tenants, their family, friends, lifestyles and, in the simple words of the greatest Impressionist and gardener Monet, providing motifs to paint. FREE ENTRY TO ALL.

Spring Plant Sale

  • When: Saturday 18 May 10:30-12:00 noon
  • Where: Cruickshank Botanic Garden
  • Run by: Friends of Cruickshank Botanic Garden

Spring is here - come along and bag a bargain! Plants are all donated so you can often pick up a rare or choice item. Prices are mostly £1 or £2, unless the plant is large or unusual - even then you can expect to pay only £3 or £4.

Aberdeen Fascination of Plants Day Public Event 2024

  • When: Sunday 19 May 10:30-16:00
  • Where: David Welch Winter Gardens, Duthie Park
  • Run by: See individual activities below.

Duthie Park Ranger Service - PLANTASTIC

Join the Duthie Park Rangers for some plantastic fun! Test your sense of smell by taking part in ‘a herb identifying challenge’ and plant something in your own handcrafted paper pot made out of old newspapers! Children can learn what plants need to grow and why they are important, and can make a leaf rubbing too!

The James Hutton Institute – Fabulous Forests

Forests are a key feature of our Scottish landscapes and one which is expected to increase in area over the coming years, however, a forest is much more than just trees! Come and get hands on with the help of scientists from the James Hutton Institute, to explore the huge range of biodiversity that depends on our native tree species, the benefits that we derive from forests and some of the threats that they face.

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) - Plant Diversity in Agricultural Systems

Agricultural crops help to feed the world’s population. Growing them efficiently to provide good yields and quality whilst encouraging beneficial environmental stewardship is a balance all farmers are tasked with. A diverse range of plants in both time (rotation) and location (different scales) can help achieve this balance. Colleagues from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) will demonstrate a number of these factors and explain how they are interlinked, including the use of N fixing legumes and multi-species grassland which can improve soil structure and quality or improve the diets and health of the animals eating them.

Robert Gordon University (RGU) - The Power of Plants

Join scientists from Robert Gordon University learning all about the power of plants and their diverse defence mechanisms from thorns and spikes to bitter tasting compounds. Come and find out if you are a ‘super taster’ and whether you might have the bitter-tasting version of the TAS2R38 gene.

University of Aberdeen – What’s the point of plants?   

Exciting workshop from scientists at the University of Aberdeen show-casing displays and activities on the ways that plants interact with animals and fungi to deliver the products and services needed to sustain our lives, including the importance of pollination, seed dispersal and nutrient uptake.