en | dt

Apolonija Sušteršič

Garden Service
Garden Service addresses the peculiar situation of mixed public and private areas in the Closes adjacent to the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Spaces such as Chessels Court are secluded from but also connected to the Royal Mile, one of the great tourist destinations of Edinburgh. They are frequented not only by residents but also by locals and tourists, taking a rest or having lunch on the public green off the main track.
We chose to install a few very simple urban elements designed to encourage the space to be used, especially by and for the residents living in Chessels Court who don’t have their own garden or outdoor space. By installing stairs to the green and providing picnic blankets we hope to encourage and support activities already present.
However, our main focus is on the ‘observation platform,’ once an institutional green of veronica bushes that was covered with concrete in the 1980s. This ‘bluff’ has recently been targeted as a potential garden by residents: through our workshop with residents of Chessels Court was installed as a temporary garden. The new garden is a public expression of private care and shared benefit – public green spaces created and looked after by private garden lovers.
Garden Service is very much inspired by the life and work of Patrick Geddes (1854 – 1932), a former resident of the Royal Mile who planned and partly installed gardens in various closes along the Royal Mile. One of them, belonging to a kindergarten, was located right behind Chessels Court. Geddes was a firm advocate of the value of gardens as social places, and gardening as time spent towards common good. This garden presents an old/new prototype, and is a reminder of these forgotten values. With its shared facilities it offers a place to sit down; it serves as a meeting place, which was animated by specific programs during the time of the exhibition.