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 to Close

Yesterday we got the awful news that due to cut backs Oatridge College who run lifelong learning classes at Suntrap Garden are handing the garden back to the National Trust for Scotland at the end of July.  The NTS are themselves in trouble financially and it looks as if the garden will be shut permanently unless someone appears very quickly with a rescue package. The volunteers who help in the garden are willing to continue to support the garden and the Friends of Suntrap also want to continue to support the garden.

There is doubt about what will happen to the National Bonsai Collection which is housed in the garden. A new bonsai house is nearing completion. In the last year volunteers have been keeping the garden open to visitors over the weekends and visitor numbers have increased as have sales of plants grown to help maintain the garden.

If you have not yet visited this treasure then please do so before the gates close for the last time. If you think it should be saved for its teaching facility which will be impossible to replicate at Oatridge then write to your MSP, MP, etc. So much lottery money is going to support the Olympic games but we need funding now for a basic educational facility for the most vulnerable members of society. On this site alone day in and day out we see people asking basic gardening questions like how to grow potatoes. At Suntrap, adult education night classes cater for the increasing numbers who want to learn about gardening.

Hidden Treasure to Close

Taken from the article from the blog – Grows on You, to find out further information http://www.sos2010.btck.co.uk



Evening Classes and Workshops for Autumn and Winter

As many of you may be aware Oatridge College notified us on Wednesday 9 June that they would no longer be involved with Suntrap Garden as they are withdrawing from using the garden as a teaching facility. 

At the moment consultation is going on with the National Trust for Scotland who are joint owners of the site.  The garden will remain open until Tuesday 31 August and may well continue to be open after that date of the college withdrawal.

It is therefore with huge sadness that we have to inform you that all evening classes and workshops are being cancelled as we cannot run them from Suntrap Garden and Oatridge College has decided not to transfer classes to their main campus.

We would like to thank everyone for their support over the years and hope that you have enjoyed the classes and that they have inspired you and relaxed you.



Flower Arranging Night Class

The new 10 week flower arranging course has been running now for a couple of weeks.  The arrangments that the students have been making are simply stunning.



Better Herbaceous Borders Workshop – 13 March 2010

There are still places available for this Saturday’s workshop.    It starts at 10.00 am and finishes about 12.00 Noon.  Cost £10.00.

So if you are thinking of renewing a part of the garden or just looking for some ideas why not give us a call and book a place.



Flower Arranging for Beginners

I went along to the class yesterday with a wee bit trepidation.  I’m not very artistic and a wee bit clumsy.  We had been asked to bring along 7 single stem roses or carnations, 2 chrysanthemums and a bunch of carnations.  Irene and Suntrap provided the greenery.  What a great time I had.  Irene, the class tutor, did a demonstration arrangement explaining the whole time what she was doing.

Then it was our turn.  It was great fun, you start off thinking I have to get this right and then realise if you want you can take everything out and start again.

First Attempt

I have to say I’m delighted with my arrangement.  I’m now trying to work out how I can get out of my Monday night taxi duties with the kids to enrol in the Flower Arranging for all Occasions course which starts on the 12 April.



Flower Arranging

I’ve never wanted to go along to a flower arranging class, until I saw these which were made by beginners

          

The course was run by Irene Birse over 6 weeks here at Suntrap and each week the students took home a different and interesting floral arrangement.