Today I'm going to shout for a small enterprise based in my home city of Edinburgh. It's called "Green Yonder Tours". I first came across them when I was looking for an alternative birthday present for a professional gardening friend. Their vouchers make great presents.
"Green Yonder Tours" are based in the oldest part of Edinburgh. The Old Town was the original city and encompassed what is now known as the High Street or Royal Mile. This runs from the castle at the top of the old volcanic ridge to the Palace of Holyrood House at the bottom. For those that are interested that is where the Queen stays when she is in Scotland.
Not only is there the Queen's residence there but my Grandmother used to live of the main street when she was a child. I went to nursery school and primary School there at a place called Moray house. Little did I know as I walked up and down there on the way to school what fascinating spaces lay behind the old buildings. Maybe I wouldn't have been very interested at that age.
The old street is full of "closes" (passageways between buildings) also known as "vennels"," wynds" or "pends" in Scotland. Peek behind some of the closes and narrow old gardens still lie hidden behind some of the 17th century buildings.
Green Yonder Tours give you the opportunity to explore therm from a green perspective. Being in the oldest part of Edinburgh many of the green spaces in the area have a rich history, combined with a lot of fascinating stories.
Green Yonder Tours also offer a tour looking at the herbal uses for many of our common weeds and other plants. A visit to a wildlife garden and a childrens garden created over a century ago in the Old Town slums are also on the itinerary.
As you may have guessed these tours are on foot. They are each about an hour long and run from May to October.
Mind what you wear on your feet as the cobbles in the High street can be a bit uneven at times, especially if your balance isn't too good. Some of these gardens are not normally open to the public.
For more information and to book your tour visit GreenYonderTours.com
My friend went on "The Hidden Gardens of the Roya Mile" tour with one of her gardening buddies. Both of them are propfessional gardners and have worked in historic gardens in Edinburgh.
L worked in a garden in the New Town, although she's since moved on from there and C at the Historic Dr Neil's garden . There's another garden that's well worth a look if you're in Edinburgh. You can find out more about Dr Neils' garden here.
These photos were taken at the Dr Neils' garden a few years back.