News from the Quiet Garden

If you haven’t visited for a while you may not have seen our new trees! We had been unhappy about the loss of three trees ( all for good reasons) over the last few years and were determined to replace them. Eventually we settled on an apple-tree ( Charles Ross eater-cum-cooker) and a fig-tree, again with an eye to food as well as beauty, shade and climate resilience.The fig tree was planted against the south-facing wall and in a pot, on Sunday  29th May by Sheila, dear friend of Jean and Gilbert, son of Gilbert , helped by Nathan and David. The tree is dedicated to the Columban generation of 1949 who defied plans to close the Church, drawing on a parable of Jesus ( St.Luke   13 v 6-9), to give it another year! Here we are 73 years later….. So far so good as the photos testify.

Visitors are once-again dropping in for a sit-down for a few minutes amidst the bustle of a city-break or from city-centre life or work. Occasionally we hear next-door’s  Hostel-kitchen  in high spirits but that’s life. We have received some lovely comments in the Visitors’ Book such as

“Local lass found solitude while working. Great find”

“This garden (especially the plaques on the wall) is heaven.”

It depends on the availability of volunteers as to how often we can open but until the Festival its most afternoons.

Of course, in this very dry year here in East Scotland, we have had to water many times. We were kindly donated a hose a few years back but now we have made a small step towards climate-resilience by also installing a water-butt. Thanks must go here to Judith B who set to on drilling the requisite hole in the down-pipe, ending up with an industrial-strength drill piece which eventually got the job finished! Fortunately we’ve had a bit of rain and the butt is filling up nicely.

The other development in the Quiet Garden is an increasing amount of edibles. We tried a few potatoes and cherry tomatoes in pots last year with mixed success. Now we have three new planters (courtesy of the ever-helpful Mushroom Trust and made by the Grassmarket Community Project Workshop), we are growing salad leaves, mange-tout, chard and green beans. Of these the green beans are the pick of the bunch! We have been able to offer a small amount of fresh produce to Foodbank clients who pass through on Tuesdays and Fridays.

On Sundays after church, our church family wanders out on the terrace to enjoy our drinks and a blether in the sun. Its a real joy for us. Join us sometime!