It's now commonly known that the Mini Mack experience isn't just about visiting the hotspots of Edinburgh, but rather the hidden gems which even the locals don't know about. Dr Neil's Garden based down in Duddingston Village is the epitome of this ideal. A microcosm that has no right to survive in our cities climate, but actually thrives as one of the most picturesque and beautiful areas Edinburgh.
I'm not going to give you the history of the garden as you can find it here www.drneilsgarden.co.uk or simply come on tour with us. If you ever do venture down to Old Church Lane I can tell what you can expect. A collection of plants and trees collated from around the world protected by Arthurs Seat from the coastal off the Firth of Forth. A gang of geese, mallards, ducks and other water based birds which have their very own wildlife park connected beside the garden. Looking onto Duddingston loch you can imagine hundreds, even thousands of ice skaters and curlers using the loch during the very late 18th century when we had the coldest of winters. Look out for 'Stan the man' the cockiest of pheasants with the best coat in town looking after his harem of four hens. Perhaps most importantly, say hello to the Head Gardner of 14 years, Claudia, with her tribe of volunteers and trusty dog 'Bear'. Claudia is the next level creator, maintainer and protector of this wonderful ecosystem who at the drop of a hat will give you the common and latin name for any shrub, plant, tree or blade of grass found on her patch.
I've only touched on a few things of what to see and do in Edinburgh's best kept secret, so to find out more you will have to venture down to see for yourself. Already I have bumped into local friends who have headed to the garden for a wee cup of tea (great tea room by the way) and piece of cake. Just don't tell too many people about this garden of Eden and let's keep this a secret between us :)