What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

The Prettiest Edinburgh Gardens To See Now

Anyone who follows our Instagram account will know that I have a bit of an obsession for all things floral. In my dream life, I’d get to spend some more time in our Edinburgh garden and as I get older that feeling is building!

At Dickins, it’s me who goes and sees all the new homes and then photographs the ones we’re lucky enough to add to our portfolio, so I’m out and about a fair bit. One of the things I enjoy most on my journeys around Edinburgh is spotting the prettiest gardens. I took most of these photos last year, but have added some updates from the past week. So, even if you aren’t able to travel to Edinburgh at the moment, you can get your fix of our gardens looking their best from where ever you are.

The epitome of a beautiful urban garden – silver birch, iris, tulips and topiary. It sets my heart racing!

Where it all began for us

Two of the most inspiring streets in Edinburgh for garden lovers are Ann Street and Circus Lane. My family moved to Edinburgh from Yorkshire in 1988 and after a spell living in a rather wonderful rental flat on Dundas Street, we bought a house on Ann Street. My Mum had wisely declared that it was the only place she wanted to buy a house. Nervous estate agents warned us that no houses had come on the market there for years. But one did. Number 26, with its dining room walls heavily coloured with nicotine, became ours. And there started what’s become a wonderful life in Edinburgh for the Dickins family.

Where it all began for us in Edinburgh – 26 Ann Street

Edinburgh’s prettiest street?

Ann Street is known as Scotland’s prettiest street. It’s the only street of its kind in Edinburgh’s New Town, with gardens in front of the houses. And as all these gardens are on display and many of them are absolutely beautiful, there is an incentive to do your bit and make sure yours looks pretty, too! In May, the gardens are at their peak and that means these are definitely some of the prettiest Edinburgh gardens to see now.

The beautiful camellia just past its best

Ann Street, with its elegant houses and front gardens, is named after the famous Scottish portrait painter, Sir Henry Raeburn’s wife, Ann. He designed the street in 1817. Apparently, the Queen Mother loved the feel of this elegant Georgian street and asked her chauffeur to drive down the street regularly on her way to Holyrood.

Rhododendrons are in full bloom at the moment. Do you know what the large shrub on the right of the gate is? I love it!

Homes on this street are so in demand these days that they often sell without hitting the open market and for eye-watering prices. It all felt much more ‘normal’ back in 1988. Those front gardens meant you chatted to your neighbours. When we lived in Dundas Street, no one in our block spoke to us and that was a bit of a shock for our Yorkshire family! On our first night in Ann Street, a wonderful neighbour appeared with a stew and we knew we had found a wonderful place to call home.

The bees will be happy with this blue ceanothus.

A sense of community

There’s much talk these days about a loss of community. There was an absolutely wonderful sense of community in Ann Street and I hope there still is. We left in 2002. I have so many happy memories from our Ann Street days… the wonderful Christmas carols sung in the street and the parties afterwards. And a legendary Hogmanay where my friends and I danced reels in the street and I first-footed one patient neighbour seven times! And my sister set up horse jumps in the front garden for our naughty spaniel, Minstrel, to jump over.

Lovely scented honeysuckle

But definitely, the best thing about our Ann Street days were the other people who lived there. There were so many sensational characters. I’m sitting at my kitchen table writing this and laughing remembering some of the funniest dinners I’ve ever attended with me in my early 20’s and everyone else over 70. The stories… Oh, the stories! I wonder if it’s the same now, but gosh we were lucky to live there when we did. Now, I drive through or walk along with a smile on my face, remembering happy times and appreciating these beautiful Edinburgh gardens.

Pretty blue door and a bit of a jungle

An Instagram sensation

Instagram has changed places. It’s highlighted quiet corners of cities, that previously people admired but didn’t pay much attention to. This is the case with Edinburgh’s Circus Lane. It’s not thronging with people, thank goodness, but it’s now rare to walk down this prettiest of streets, with its gentle curve and perfectly placed spire, and not see someone taking photos.

Lupins and foxgloves on Circus Lane

One of the absolute reasons to visit Edinburgh’s Circus Lane is the gardens. What the owners here do with a tiny bit of pavement is nothing short of miraculous! It shows you that even in the smallest of spaces you can create a stunning Edinburgh garden…

The perfect balance of forms

The attention to detail in this street is wonderful. I love the perfect balance of Number 16B. Just enough. Not too much. And this is a street which looks amazing all year round. The seasons lend it new and changing interest.

Oh, wisteria. How decadent you are!

Is anyone else obsessed with wisteria? You don’t see it in every Edinburgh garden, so when you do, it feels special.

One of Circus Lane’s most photographed buildings.

One of my favourite ever Instagram hashtags is #wisteriahysteria and this Circus Lane building is one of the prettiest for seeing it in bloom.

The prettiest ever lilac?

This lilac is pretty sensational, isn’t it? A pure white lilac looks so classy in any garden, but this pink and white one is SO gorgeous. It’s called Sensation and that feels apt as it’s how I felt when I saw it!

It’s lovely to see someone sharing a summer wreath on their front door.

I always love seeing a wreath outside the normal Christmas season. This one uses fake flowers, but still looks so pretty next to the rose and hydrangea.

Our Garden

CV19 has meant we’ve spent so much more time in our garden!

I wrote this blog back in 2020 when time in our garden was been one of the benefits of CV19. We’ve cared for our soil and have cooked so much at home that our hot composter has gone into overdrive. It also seems to be an incredible breeding ground for worms, so we’re tipping hundreds of them into our beds every week. As you can see pak choi is the crop of the year – we’ll be eating it for months! I think every seed germinated and then my husband thinned them all out and they survived that too! They’re invincible. Our currants, gooseberries, broad beans, green beans, peas, parsley, basil, chillies, fennel, sweet peas and cornflowers have all germinated and seem to be very happy as are we having spent more time than usual in the garden.

We’re spending less time in the garden now sadly, but looking out at my garden now and bean, potatoes, lettuce, cavolo nero, Brussel sprouts, carrots, beetroot, courgette and sweet peas all seem to be happy. They’ve certainly had enough water with all this rain recently. Let’s hope for more sunshine to get them growing.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this blog about some of the prettiest Edinburgh gardens. Are there any which you think we should feature?

If you’d like to read more about Edinburgh gardens you can visit, take a look at this post: Best Secret Gardens In Edinburgh

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