Using landscape architecture and co-design to work with local stakeholders and Granton:hub charity to transform a patch of brownfield land into a flourishing community garden.
Since January 2017, HERE+NOW CIC has been working with Granton:Hub to develop ideas and a design for its garden space. Granton:hub is a new start-up charity with an interest in local culture, history and environment. With help from local organisations such as Granton Community Growers, HERE+NOW, Edinburgh Living Landscape in association with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and a number of other partnering organisations, and with funding from the Postcode Lottery, the plan is to transform the unused brownfield land at the Madelvic site over the spring / summer 2017 for mutual benefit of the Granton community and visitors to Granton:Hub.
Having recently secured a 5-year lease with the landowners, EDI developers and The City of Edinburgh Council, the historic Madelvic factory site is to become a place for biodiversity and culture. Madelvic Factory was the UK's first purpose-built car factory in 1898, conceived by Sir William Peck to develop and manufacturer electric carriages. In its time it produced a two-seater electric car; although Sir William wasn't successful, the approach to environmental sustainability is at the heart of the projects and partners' interests at Granton:Hub.
This year of activity in garden design and build will see the creation of new pathways, fencing and several gate access points into the garden. There will be a wildflower nursery developing coastal planting mixes and a community growing area, sitting areas with decking made from reclaimed pallets. Wild nature gardening opportunities and techniques will be demonstrated among the existing buddleia and thorn scrub vegetation, and habitats will be nurtured in the existing wet areas. The Scrapstore and a repurposed Bus will be relocated from Meanwhile Fountainbridge, providing opportunities for outdoor creative work and exhibition areas. A Community Café is also being developed within Madelvic House, fusing the artists, creatives, gardeners, local historians, researchers, and families who call this local Hub their home.
On Friday 31st March, we officially kicked off the programme of building and gardening works in the outdoor space, by leveling an area, capping it with Type 1 and a geotextile membrane, and surfacing it with fine bark mulch. A path was built in the same way to connect with the wildflower nursery area and the front entrance gate. The Living Landscapes project sowed a huge range of wildflowers into root trainers ready to become wildflower plugs for sale or planting locally. The project is taking root, and we're excited to be part of the transformation!