The Community Orchards
Fruit of the Week
Verbena Bonariensis has several medicinal uses including for sore throats, respiratory tract diseases such as asthma and whooping cough. It’s also a great late summer plant.
A brief history of the Community Orchards
The idea for a community orchard within the park was conceived when some of the Friends of Saughton Park volunteers attended Apple Day events run by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society at the Royal Botanic Garden here in Edinburgh. The Community Orchard Group were also inspired by wanting to experience the joy of growing and eating our own fruit and sharing this experience with others within the community.
The Community Orchards have also provided an opportunity for people to develop new skills. Starting out we had enthusiasm, but not a lot of knowledge or skill in fruit growing. After hearing about the Helping Britain Blossom Initiative driven by The Orchard Project we knew we could make it happen!
Of course, the orchards are not just for the Friends but also provide spaces which offer a fruity bounty for the varied wild visitors and inhabitants of the park.
The first orchard to be established was the Trained Orchard which is planted along the east and west walls of the Rose Garden. We have various forms such as espalier, cordon and fan. Fruits include apple, pear, plum, peach and quince with plans for apricot and currants. Beginning in September 2017 the Community Orchard Group designed the plantings and selected the fruit. The wiring of walls and planting was done in spring 2018. We had our first peach shortly afterwards in the summer of 2018!
// Needs updating for 2018-2022 e.g. underplanting
The design process for the Wild Orchard started in autumn 2018. This orchard incorporates ideas of permaculture and forest gardening and includes fruit and nut trees with underplanting of other food plants. This gives the Friends and Nature an even more bountiful harvest while also providing a home for wildlife. The group has had invaluable support from the beginning from The Orchard Project with the provision of trees, tools, training and practical help.
// Needs updating for 2018-2022 e.g. bog garden, seating, pond
// Add picture of Wild Orchard
Park Border Orchard
In the winter of 2018 The Woodland Trust provided 420 trees which the Friends planted along the sides of the football pitches.
// Needs updating for 2018-2022 e.g. types of trees, additional plantings etc.
// Add picture of Border Orchard