Suntrap Garden

Save our Suntrap Campaign

The public have a chance to stop the demise of Suntrap Garden

Suntrap Garden’s Open Day in May 2011 could be its last unless the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and Oatridge College’s scandalous decision to sell the Green Belt located Garden to property developers is halted.

But all is not lost.

A group of representatives of the organisations which use Suntrap is seeking a rescue package by pursuing funding to run the Garden with the help of volunteers.  And as part of the effort the Garden volunteers are holding a further Open Day as part of its fundraising efforts on Sunday 22nd May from 10.30am – 4pm.   Attractions will include a sale of plants, displays, exhibits and demonstrations, face-painting for the youngsters, Eubee a snowy owl, gardening for children, refreshments and home baking.

Entry to the garden is £2 for adults and free for children and OAPs, with the money from that and several of the stalls going to the Friends of Suntrap and Save our Suntrap Campaign. Parking is free.

Suntrap is reached from the A8 and is signposted about half a mile west of the Edinburgh City Bypass roundabout. It is served by Lothian Buses services 25, 34 and 45 to the Park and Ride at Riccarton/Heriot Watt Campus.

Benefactor, George Boyd Anderson, gave the Garden to the NTS in 1966 as a place for horticultural education for those with small gardens – a concept well ahead of its time.  He wanted the NTS to ensure it would be really useful to the public.  It has provided advice and classes to generations of gardeners and, in recent years, has been a special therapeutic training resource for students with learning difficulties who find the place relaxing and rewarding.

Suntrap is well known in the Gardening Community.  The Save Our Suntrap (SOS) Group, led by the Friends of Suntrap (the very first NTS Friends’ group) comprises members of national and local organisations such as Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, Perennial, Scottish Gardeners’ Forum, National Bonsai Collection and Suntrap Gardening Club.

SOS is fighting passionately on behalf of the Garden.  This community group proposes to continue to open the Garden to the public and reinstate classes but also has plans to expand the role of the Garden in therapeutic and other ways, including gardening space, providing the public with fresh opportunities to garden in a healthy environment.

SOS is seeking to lease the Garden to prove that it can be run effectively in accordance with the principles under which it was gifted as a legacy to the gardeners of the future.  The members have support with the campaign from a variety of sources, including politicians.

It would be an outrage if this Garden is lost to the property market when there is a chance that it could be saved!  With help, the sun could shine again on Suntrap!

Members of the public can do their part in saving the garden by showing their support and coming along to our Open Day on Sunday May 22nd.


Suntrap Open Day

What a great day we had for the Open Day, the sun shone all day.

We had over 400 visitors and raised £700 for Perennial, Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society.

The highlight of the day however, was the visit by the Lord and Lady Provost who came for a one hour visit and enjoyed it so much they stayed for two.

Thank you to everyone for their help and support in making this such a great day.

Suntrap Garden Open Day – Sunday 23 May 2010 – 10.30 am to 4.00 pm

Everyone has been busy preparing for our annual charity Open Day, which again this year is being held in support of Perennial, Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society.

Our students, with learning difficulties, from local Day Centres,  have been busy planting up containers and hanging baskets.  As you can see they’re resting in the Mist House until they’re ready to go on display

and the beetle from last year’s Gardening Scotland arrived yesterday

just in time for us to plant it up for our big day.

Why not come along and join us.

It’s a great day out.

Christmas Fayre

We had a great day on Saturday.  The weather stayed dry although very cold.

Thank you to everyone who supported us by taking tables, the Friends for teas, coffees and home baking and for everyone who came along.

If you’re stuck for ideas for Christmas why not  buy a Suntrap gift voucher and let them choose what they would like either from the Plant Centre or from one of our Spring evening classes or workshops.

Blooming Beetle on road to gold

From –

Horticulture Week
05 June 2009

Flower power drove gardening charity Perennial and land-based college Oatridge’s clapped-out VW Beetle to gold at Gardening Scotland.

Co-designer with Oatridge horticultural team leader Ann Burns, Oatridge Suntrap Garden leader John Smith said the most colourful car in Scotland could now be recycled to make an entrance feature at nearby Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway.

Perennial Beetle

Old Beetle Crawls into exhibition (from Edinburgh Evening News Thursday May 28, 2009)
Click on thumbnail to view image
Click on thumbnail to view image
Click on thumbnail to view image
Published Date: 28 May 2009

IT’S not the kind of beetle most people would expect to find in their garden.

But green-fingered charity workers and students have given a 38-year-old Volkswagon a makeover – and made it the centre-piece of their exhibit at Scotland’s largest gardening show.

The horticulture charity, Perennial, was offered the old car by the Lothians-based VW Club.

They had used it for fundraising events, including making it amphibious, but it was reaching the end of its life.
june 2009 492

The charity transformed it with the help of students from Oatridge College in West Lothian, painting it bright yellow and filling it with marigolds and sunflowers. Their garden, named Perennial Petal Power, promises to be one of the quirkiest exhibits at Gardening Scotland this weekend.

Thousands of keen gardeners are set to flock to the show at Ingliston. Now in its tenth year, it will feature more than 400 exhibitors and 15 show gardens. Other highlights include the BBC Scotland Beechgrove Theatre, a craft and food fair, and gardening and cookery demonstrations.

Alex Rutherford, Perennial’s Scottish organiser, said the group was keen to use recycled materials to create a quirky exhibit and highlight its work.

The charity won the Best In Show award for its garden made from recycled junk in 2007.

She said: “This was really created to reflect the work we do. We do a lot of work with retired gardeners and horticulturalists who are often forgotten about. We give them and their families financial, social and emotional support.

“The VW was decrepit – it had done a lot of charity work but was reaching the end of its life. It was sitting in the bottom of a garden in Ratho. The students brightened it up a bit by painting it – it looks a bit like the flower power car.”

The car had been adapted by the VW Club so it could be used as a motorboat on water. It has crossed the Firth of Forth and travelled to Skye, helping raise £10,000 for arthritis research.

It has now been filled with special plant containers, with more on the roof, and was installed yesterday in the centre of Perennial’s show garden.

Ms Rutherford said one of the most difficult parts was moving the car. She said: “We took it on a trailer. It has no brakes, so we needed the students to stop it rolling down the hill.”

Agnes Stevenson, a spokeswoman for Gardening Scotland, said: “Perennial have a history of doing unusual gardens, and this year is no different.

“They do everything to an exceptionally high standard, and I imagine they’ll be in the running for a medal.”

She said this year’s show was set to be the biggest ever, with more than 30,000 people expected. The Princess Royal, who is patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, will be visiting on Friday.