Rose garden to mark zoo’s centenary

by Julia Bradley on November 24, 2013

Hundreds of beautiful red, white and yellow roses will be central to Edinburgh Zoo’s celebrations in its 100th year.

A design that mirrors the architecture of its Mansion House will be created in a historic rose garden that is being immaculately revamped for the occasion.

Key figures in the zoo’s history will be honoured by each of the four flower beds, including town planner Professor Patrick Geddes and founder Thomas Gillespie.

Edinburgh Zoo opened its gates for the first time in 1913, the same year as the garden’s oldest type of rose, Moonlight, was released.

There will be 400 roses of 29 types and 300 hedging plants on display when the garden is finished, said curator of plants and head of sustainability Simon Jones.

He said the gardeners are “really proud” to have created it in such an important year because roses have been a key feature of Edinburgh Zoo in the past.

“A really beautiful addition to Edinburgh Zoo, it will be in full bloom by early summer next year and will carry on delighting visitors for many years to come,” he added.

A grant of £1,500 from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society paid for some of the work. Its president, Pam Whittle, said members are “delighted” to back the return of a rose garden.

She said such features became popular in public spaces and parks in the early 20th century, with the zoo and Saughton Park in the city being “notable examples”.

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Julia Bradley

Research Assistant at Interflora - interested in all things PR!

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