Saughton Park has a long and interesting history and much of that history has had links with The Caley. In the 1980s The Caley had a very active relationship with the Winter Garden, having made a significant contribution to its refurbishment. We continued to hold many events on site including plants sales, well remembered and missed by many local residents. But the link goes back even further, as a former President of The Caley, James McHattie (the ‘inventor’ of the flower clock in Princes Street Gardens) was responsible for transforming the park after the Scottish National Exhibition in 1908. In 1910 he recorded that:
The Park is now complete… The area enclosed by the old garden walls has been laid out in an ornamental manner. It includes a Rosary, American Garden, Rock Garden and Sweet Pea garden.
The park today
More recently The Caley has been working in partnership with The City of Edinburgh Council on the restoration of the park. Thanks to a successful Heritage Lottery bid, this project that will allow the Caley to have a permanent office base within the park, with active teaching and demonstration gardens. Unfortunately, not all of the elements on the Caley’s wish list are included in the lottery funded element – for example a Caley glasshouse and potting shed, so we have much more work to do. The Caley’s aspiration to have a demonstration garden is not new. Since 1809 the focus of the Society has been to share knowledge and skills and to give advice on the best varieties of fruit, vegetables and flowers to grow in Scotland.
Work is moving along at a brisk pace at Saughton Park. The archaeological investigations have been completed. The contractors, P1 Solutions, has laid down the base course for all of the new paths outside of the Walled Garden area and have begun work to repair the stone walls. The Winter Garden refurbishment has begun, with the bore holes for the ground source heat pumps completed. Please note: There are no parking facilities at the park at present due to the ongoing construction works. If you are visiting the park, please do not park on the grass areas as this is causing damage and is also a safety risk.