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Please do not arrange a formal visit without first checking with us. Members of the public are free to enjoy our network of permitted paths through the Future Forest as usual.

Sylva exhibitions open in Scotland and Wales

posted on April 17, 2014

To celebrate the 350th anniversary of John Evelyn’s landmark work, Sylva, two major exhibitions open today featuring drawings of British trees and woodland, made by our artist-in-residence Sarah Simblet.

The two fine art exhibitions are open from 17th April until 31st May at:

  • the John Hope Gateway, at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) – read more
  • the Gallery, at National Botanic Garden of Wales – read more

Thirty five pen and ink drawings from The New Sylva, selected from over 200 drawings commissioned to illustrate The New Sylva, a contemporary version of Evelyn’s classic text, are presented in public for the first time. Created from life in woodlands across the British Isles, Sarah Simblet’s drawings feature individual tree portraits and woodland scenes as well as life-sized illustrations of leaves, fruits and flowers. Highly detailed, they are both accurate depictions of the typical growth patterns and shapes of species, as well as sensitive and vivid translations of some of our most treasured landscapes.

Drawings from The New Sylva on display at the John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Drawings from The New Sylva on display at the John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

To further celebrate this historic anniversary, at RBGE 35 prominent people, including authors, artists, horticulturalists and scientists, have been asked to nominate the tree or woodland-inspired book that has most influenced them. The 35 books chosen, which include poetry, novels and children’s books, as well as tree identification guides, forestry texts and planting manuals are exhibited alongside the drawings.

Some of the favourite books on display at RBGE

Some of the chosen tree and forestry books on display at RBGE

A film featuring Sarah Simblet, sponsored by RBGE, has also been released to coincide with the opening of the exhibitions.


Purchase a signed copy from our online shop

Read more on the authors’ blog

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