Thanks to the efforts of over 20 volunteers, June saw two areas of the Old Town given a colourful facelift. On 14 June, a successful half day’s gardening took place at the South Bridge Resource Centre. With great support from Nancy Somerville and her staff, and the back-up and advice of Jim Carlyle from the City Council Nursery, the area around the SBRC was transformed with a whole host of new planters and tubs, brimming with a variety of plants.

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 Jim Carlyle did a demo of how to make up a good planter for a small space in the Old Town, and many people made their own and took them back to their own spots. Jean Bareham was on hand to talk about the largely unknown but extensive existing network of green places in the Old Town. Andreas Teschner (www.solenium-technology.com) showed off his elegant fittings for the safe installation of window-boxes in any kind of situation.

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A week later on 21 June a small army of EOTDT volunteers descended on a blank site at the top of the Cowgate, tidying the verge along the pavement and installing a battery of planters along the bottom of the blank wall at the back of the site. Thanks to all those who have helped water the planters over the very dry summer.

What happens next?

Winter is approaching but this is a good time to take stock and plan for next year. With the support of the City Centre Neighbourhood Partnership and EWH, GRASS are organising a series of talks on gardens and gardening to include:

  • Herbs and their broad range of uses, from cooking to healing.
  • Growing fruit trees and berry bushes how to get the best from them.
  • Plants, trees and bushes to encourage biodiversity, why it's good for you and good for the bees.

The talks will take place on the first three Saturdays in November1st, 8th and 15th from 2-4pm.

The venue will be Dance Base in the Grassmarket. These sessions are free - all gardeners in the Old Town are welcome.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has had to be postponed. On the fourth Saturday (22 November) from 2-4pm EOTDT and GRASS are arranging a Swop Shop – swop plants, ideas, information about grants and other sources of support. We would like anyone (both individuals and groups) who is gardening in the Old Town or just interested in making the Old Town greener, or with a comment on a site with potential for improvement, to come and share their experiences, and ideas for the future. Representatives of groups who can support gardening activity in the Old Town will be there and it will be a good opportunity to network with people with similar interests. Due to unforeseen circumstances, this event has had to be postponed.