It’s well known by locals that the public records of Scotland are held in the 18th century General Register House at the east end of Edinburgh’s main street – Princes Street. Less well known is that hidden behind the building is a small courtyard garden.
The garden aims to echo the role of its surroundings. It features 57 species planted in a flowing pattern to symbolise the random nature of memory contrasting with the ordered records held in the surrounding archive buildings. All plants have a link to Scotland and its history, such as the thistle, or to birth, marriage and death such as the yew tree, which is a common sight in Scottish graveyards.
Apart from the interesting story to the planting scheme, I find it a great place to enjoy a quiet sandwich or coffee. It is very likely that you will be the only one there, despite crowds of shoppers being only a few metres away. There is also a small café accessed from the garden selling plenty snacks and drinks.