Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Acheson House Garden Bears Fruit

The community garden at Acheson House has gathered in its first harvest.

Oct 31, 2012

The community group has restored the garden with the support of Edinburgh World Heritage, as part of its Climate Challenge Project. The initiative is inspired by the seventeenth century gardens which used to lie behind the homes of wealthy residents in the Canongate.

It is designed as a kitchen garden and is planted using varieties available 300 years ago, including carrots, beetroots, leeks, lettuces, rosemary and lavender. Green space is relatively scarce for Old Town residents, so the garden provides a valuable resource with the opportunity to grow vegetables and fruit.

Catriona Grant from the Patrick Geddes Gardening Club said: “Harvest day for great fun, loads of kids turned up with their grown ups. We all got a bag or so of lovely veggies to take home. Kids enjoyed playing chasey, hide and seek, giving lifts in the wheel barrow and soaking one another with watering cans but only after the harvest was completed - still some beet roots and leeks to pick”

Laura, also a volunteer with the club, commented: “Shepherd's pie a triumph, with potatoes, carrots and rosemary from the garden, with a spinach, beetroot, rocket and lettuce salad on the side!”

Work started on transforming the over-grown patch of land at the rear of Acheson House in summer 2011, and was completed in September this year in time for Doors Open Day. The garden attracted around 2,000 visitors during the event, and is also now included on the Hidden Gardens tour, showing tourists the green spaces of the Old Town.

Another key element of the Climate Challenge project is DIY workshops for residents on energy efficiency. The workshops are aimed at someone new to DIY or saving energy in the home and look at the practical ways to reduce fuel bills and heat loss at home. Each hands-on workshop focuses on key skills and tools, and demonstrates how to get the best results. Feedback from the participants has been very positive:

Richard M: “I very much enjoyed the workshops had picked up many helpful hints and tips”

Jo: “Yesterday's session was useful and enjoyable. I liked the hands on aspect alongside the informative discussion.”

Richard A: “The two courses were very interesting and I learnt some interesting tips. Overall good professional courses that I would recommend to others and I hope that you can offer further courses in the future”

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