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Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Survival Trail Illustrations
RBGE Survival of the Smartest poster illustration illustrated by Edinburgh based illustrator Liv Wan

Earlier this year I was commissioned by the Royal Botanic Garden here in Edinburgh to illustrate a series of illustrations for their upcoming event called the “Survival of the Smartest” which was basically a children’s glasshouse adventure trail.

This is one of those “bucket list” projects that I’ve wanted to work on. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, or RBGE as I’ll call it from now on, is one of my favourite locations in Edinburgh for my family. Chris and I both love the gardens and Amelia loves charging around there and if we were to renew our wedding venues in Edinburgh (want to do this when we hit the 10 year mark) then the RGBE would be our instant first choice.

I also love drawing anything to do with nature, whether it be flowers, trees, plants, animals or whatever so I have always dreamed of being commissioned by the RGBE. So when I got their email I was over the moon.

Working with the RBGE was a lot of fun. All of the people I worked with were super friendly and lovely. I got multiple free access to the Glasshouse for drawing and sketching. They even picked some passionfruit for me to eat in the Glasshouse. The photo below shows myself and the copywriter Sarah eating passionfruit. I never even dreamt of eating fresh delicious fruit directly from the Botanic Gardens. Before I was always worried I might get arrested or at least thrown out of the gardens if I touched any plant especially in the Glasshouse. But they actually welcome people to touch their plants and feel the different textures.

So far I am still waiting for the official launch date for this event. The event was due to be launched during the summer but they had a big event when the largest flower in the world, the “Titan arum” blossomed. Apparently the flower smells like rotting meat when it blossoms so I didn’t check it out but still, it was a big event that brought in a lot of people. Then we had the Fringe festival for which everything, and I literally mean everything, gets put to one side. So fingers crossed everything will be put on display in the gardens really soon, I’m so excited!!

I illustrated a series of illustrations for a small booklet, two different poster illustrations and a billboard size illustration. The illustrations below are just a few examples from this project. You can see all the illustrations by visiting the Botanic Garden Edinburgh and walk through the trail in the Glasshouse. I believe the booklet is free and full of fun facts about plants and activities so don’t forget to get a copy. Just a note but I loved the paper and texture they printed out the booklet on. Usually booklets will use a coated paper but they chose un-coated paper this time which has a lovely texture. I will post photos after this event has launched and I will definitely visit and take more photos to show everyone.

bamboo passionfruit pine plant illustrations Royal botanic garden


RBGE Children Survival trail booklet illustrations illustrated by UK based Illustrator Liv Wan

This is one of the poster/billboard size illustration I created for this project.

RBGE Children's Survival Trail poster and billboard illustration illustrated by Edinburgh based illustrator Liv Wan

These are some of the booklet illustrations:

RBGE Children's Survival Trail booklet illustration

RBGE Children Survival Trail booklet illustration illustrated by Edinburgh based illustrator Liv Wan

RBGE Children Survival Trail booklet illustration illustrated by Edinburgh based illustrator Liv Wan

RBGE Children Survival Trail booklet illustration illustrated by Edinburgh based illustrator Liv Wan

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  1. Julie Penman


    It might be a bit of a long-shot but am I able to buy a print of the illustration of the Palm House at The Botanic Gardens (Edinburgh)

    We got engaged there so it’s very special to me and I’d love to have this picture in our home 🙂


    • Liv Wan

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you could email me which palm house print you want to purchase, what kind of size (A1, A2, A3 or A4) and where are you base so I can email you the correct price and postage.

      My email address is

      Many thanks,


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