|Inverleith House Gallery and spring crocus in the Botanics|
We used to visit the gardens regularly. The Botanics were literally on our doorstep when we lived in North Edinburgh. Our flat backed onto them. The Botanics were effectively our back garden. We looked out onto a seemingly endless vista of noble trees. We would pop in most weeks for a stroll about, and had great pleasure in watching the seasons progress in the succession of budding, flowering and defoliation which marked the passing year. We also fed the very tame, very fat squirrels a lot - spent a fortune on peanuts.
Construction for the new visitor centre started when we were still living next to the Botanics. Infected with the cynicism of disappointed middle age, I confess we watched the progress of the building works with the pessimistic assumption that whatever finally emerged, it would be too large, ugly, a blot on the garden landscape and a basically just a big tacky shop and cafe.
A specially commissioned exhibition of tights made by students at Edinburgh College of Art,
using plant based textiles and dyes.
Oh, and I forgot to mention: it is free to go into the Botanics. Yep. Let me type that again. It is free to go into the gardens. So you can pop in at any time. Or every 18 months in our case.
If you are in Edinburgh and want to make a 'jaunt' to the Botanics, please note that the bric a brac 'shop of dreams', Duncan & Reid, is a mere couple of minutes walk from the East Gate of the Gardens, and the Circle Cafe - gorgeous food, relaxed ambience and friendly staff - is another couple of minutes walk further along the road. 5 minutes on the number 23 or 27 bus from the city centre. Make a day of it!