During a recent visit to the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens our second year students received an introduction to the collections, living (Glass houses), herbarium and library and then were each assigned to a country to explore. The groups then met a taxonomist with specific interest in the country which further inspired their research and exploration of the place and its plants.
Students were asked to consider species they are most interested in and to explore appropriate techniques. Ideas and development needed to be backed up through a wide range of sources and methods. Finally, students were asked to decide how they will apply their research and then to produce 3 finished illustrations in any medium.
The outcomes are illustrations that include plants from the assigned country, supported by broader research looking at plants from a range of sources that will allow students to build a substantial research portfolio.