For the month of July I had the best possible job - poet in residence in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. This was part of the Walking with Poets project, run jointly between the Scottish Poetry Library and the Botanics.
It was a huge priviledge, and I learned a huge amount about botany, especially plant evolution, in a month of intensive exploration of the wonders of the garden. I set out to celebrate the Gaelic tree alphabet, with a tree of the day each day. It did not take me long to trip over the 320 million year old fossil tree outside the glasshouses, and I soon found myself enthralled by the evolutionary tree which links all the lifeforms in the world, including ours. Our fleeting existence as a species pales into insignificance compared to the survival of plants like the lilies above, which have been around for hundreds of millions of years.