Planting Design for a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Edinburgh Castle View

View looking over West Princes Street Gardens to Edinburgh Castle

West Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens sits below the infamous and breathtaking Edinburgh Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The parks are divided in to the East and West Princes Street Gardens.

West Princes Street Gardens is a 29 acres site and was the subject of an international competition in 2017 to reimagine The Ross Pavilion.

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Proposed visualisation

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Proposed visualisation looking over the gardens

Ross Pavilion Why Competition Edinburgh Scotland Landscape Urbanism Dezeen Sq A

Proposed visualisation

The competition was won by New York based wHY Architects with a dynamic collaborative team.

The team included leading designers such as GRAS, Groves-Raines Architects, Arup, Studio Yann Kersalé, Noel Kingsbury, Atelier Ten amongst others.

Dr. Noel Kingsbury is the Horticultural Lead for The Ross Pavilion.
Flavia Goldsworthy was invited to work with Noel to deliver this exciting project.

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Proposed visualisation

Planting Design

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Naturalistic Planting

Nk Credit Amalia Robredo

Dr. Noel Kingsbury

Dr. Noel Kingsbury is internationally known as an innovator, writer and teacher in the fields of horticulture and planting design. He has published around 25 books including four with Piet Oudolf.

He is a globally-recognised authority on the long-term performance of ornamental herbaceous vegetation and is a leading voice on Naturalistic Planting Design.

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Site photo of the Ross Fountain looking up to Edinburgh Castle

The Site

The West Princes Street gardens are rather tired and not particularly ecologically diverse. The gardens haven’t evolved much over the last few years as is evident by the expanse of bare soil, the use bedding plants and shrub roses.

Rectifying the lack of biodiversity is a key component of the proposed planting design.
Flavia and Noel champion the implementation of ecologically biodiverse plantings and have researched carefully suitable species for the site.

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Site photo looking up the bank to Princes Street

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Analysis of existing species/soils during a site visit

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Noel surveying the bedding plants used in the Floral Clock Display

A mix of native and non-native plants will be included in the palette, as well as some species discovered by the infamous Scottish plant hunter David Douglas.

Campanula Rotundifolia
27779606427 Northern Brown Argus Aricia Artaxerxes Ssp Artaxerxes 1
Betony E1535887080745
Bombus Pascuorum  Bombus Bohemicus  Cirsium Heterophyllum  Keila
Lotus Corniculatus10
Thymelicus Sylvestris Small Skipper