This gem of a garden lies between Annandale Street and McDonald Road and runs parallel to Leith Walk. For many years it was a neglected site, full of rubbish, large pieces of household and industrial rejects, with weeds growing to shoulder height and was, quite accurately, described as something of a midden.
In the mid 1990s local people began to take an interest in this inner city site which had been the forerunner of the Botanic Garden down at Inverleith and was a very important historical area. The whole Hopetoun area was due for regeneration and development and, as the developers moved in (Huntingdon Place was created and later Hopetoun Crescent was completed), this derelict site became the focus of attention. The then City Development Department was instrumental in creating an oasis of peace three minutes walk from Leith Walk. The Hopetoun Crescent Garden was always planned as a natural wildlife park and to this end many thousands of wild flowers and wild grasses were introduced as well as many thousands of spring bulbs being planted. Check all the wonderful grasses and plants that flourish here now — it was never meant to be a ‘manicured’ garden with regimented flower beds and not a weed in sight. And yes, the Friends of Hopetoun Crescent Garden are very aware of the dockens which are among the least welcome plants; and along with the Parks Department, are trying hard to control them.
We have recently been involved in the Botanic Garden Project Botanic Cottage Project. This project builds on our existing knowledge of the history of the current garden site, which is covered in the history section.
So — do have a look at the website and get in touch with one of us.