How a £6.7 million renovation project has transformed a pioneering park in Edinburgh
Saughton Park in Edinburgh has undergone extensive restoration as part of a £6.7 million renovation project, which began in July 2017. From walled gardens and winter gardens to glasshouses and a 110-year-old bandstand, the seven-acre site has been transformed into a truly spectacular space.
p1 Contractors Ltd, who were responsible for spearheading the project, brought in Johnsons of Whixley to supply the plants for this significant and large-scale site.
The sheer size of the park was a significant challenge, as was its diversity: With so many different areas, each with their own defined purpose, a creative approach was needed to guarantee not only strong visual appeal but also practicality throughout.
As well as a brand-new cafe, new car park, new entrance and new courtyard – where former stables have been turned into the park’s offices – the project also encompasses a roller hockey and basketball court, new toilets suitable for those with physical or learning disabilities and newly restored paths with LED lighting.
A new wheelchair-friendly playground with train, bird’s nest climbing tower and lots more exciting play equipment is also a feature of the park now, along with a redeveloped rose garden with pergolas and a seating area.
There’s even an outdoor gym.
Edinburgh-based p1 was responsible for the majority of the planned works including all the soft landscaping, landscape conservation, refurbishment of the winter garden and bandstand, the refurbishment of paths, benches, lighting, gym, car park and signage.
Johnson’s contract to p1 was worth more than £100,000, with the plant supply being split over five different areas of the garden and included:
• 70 pleached Carpinus
• 90 trees more than 16-18 girth size
• 11 MST Betulas
• More than 5,000 hedging plants
• 8,000 herbaceous plants, shrubs and roses (worth more than £40,000) for the rose garden.
The bandstand renovation used more than 5,000 plants which included a mixture of shrubs and herbaceous with the white border including more than 3,000 plants that included varieties such as 400 Hakonechloa macra, 175 Helleborus ‘Silver Lace’, and 210 Brunnera ‘Mr Morse’.
The herbaceous border also used more than 6,000 plants, including more than 350 Allium purple sensation. Another 700 shrubs and herbaceous plants were used in the Italian garden.
The new site now features an enviable plethora of exciting facilities, landscaping and planting that’s transformed its appeal to local residents and visitors from further afield alike.
Richard McMonagle, Director of p1 Contractors Ltd, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of this project. With more than 1,000 plant varieties on the order it certainly hasn’t been an easy task, but Johnsons have excelled themselves by working closely with us to ensure minimal substitutions from our original specifications, while sourcing a lot of stock we don’t normally see on our usual day-to-day schemes.”
Ellie Richardson, Marketing Co-ordinator at Johnsons of Whixley, added: “It’s great to be associated with a high-profile renovation of such a well-known Scottish park with a long-standing customer. The supply has been ongoing for over a year so it’s brilliant to see the finished result that includes so many different lines with such an inspirational result.”