On Monday the 28th of April 2014 a momentous moment took place in the long project to rebuild the Botanic Cottage – we finally broke ground! To mark this occasion, we held a turf cutting ceremony attended by almost 100 people who have been involved in the project to save the cottage, from community campaigners to funders to former residents; in addition, we were joined by a class of children from Leith Wall Primary School who represented the future use of the holding as an education and community facility.
In the beautiful surroundings of the Temperate palm House, Lord Hope – former Chairman of the Botanic Cottage Trust which initially saved this unique house from being destroyed – and Sir Muir Russell, Chairman of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, delivered speeches which looked at the history and future of the cottage. Following this, all of the guest moved on to our Demonstration Garden where people assembled on the outline of where the Botanic Cottage will be rebuilt. Spades were collected from every part of the garden so that as many people as possible were able to get ‘hands on’ and dig into the turf together as we all collectively broke ground.
It was wonderful to see such a range of guests at the event, all there to celebrate this special moment in the long journey to bring this building back to life.