Insects of the Wildflower Patches

If you like interesting beasties and you live nearby, head for the wildflower plots.

Foxglove Trees

Several of the new plantings are Foxglove Trees (Paulownia tomentosa), nicknamed for their flowers. They're not "native", but after all neither are the magnificent double pink cherries that transform the Meadows every spring.

Cherries & other Fruit Trees

The Meadows is most famous for the avenues of cherry blossom. There must be hundreds of thousands of pics online.

Wild Flowers in Spring

Alongside the plantings, there are of course some wildflower weeds. The Council couldn't kill them all if it tried, and it does let some areas grow free: they're good for wildlife.

Wild Flowers in Spring

Alongside the plantings, there are of course some wildflower weeds. The Council couldn't kill them all if it tried, and it does let some areas grow free: they're good for wildlife.


Four new pine trees have arrived in the park: two Austrian and two Scots.

Birds in Spring

'See if our chicks aren't home by sundown, this time I'm just going to leave the key under the nest.'


Rowans. Autumn.

Cultivated Flowers in Spring

Planted or wild, there are displays of flowers from February till winter.

Bees in Spring

In March, if you stand patiently, you may see the first urban bees of the year ambling around the Meadows crocuses. Many of these early wakers will be the large queen bumblebees.


The park's full of memorials. Most are for people who loved this place: they'd be delighted to see students revising in the sun under their commemorative trees, and this gorgeous blue-eyed dog bounding over their remembrance benches.


There are a few alders in the park; mostly saplings, and three old giants scattered along Melville Drive.


One of the many reasons not to dismiss conifers is the small but exquisite Cedar family.


Glossy in summer; late to fall in winter.

Sweet Chestnuts

The spines of sweet chestnut husks are much longer and more prolific than those of the horse chestnut.

Horse Chestnuts

There are conkers to be found in the park, but you have to get up early to beat the squirrels.


These leaves are a familiar sight, but many of the park's oaks look very different.


The motorist's enemy.


Some of the grandest giants in the park.

Birds in Winter

One sunny day in late January I set out to take bark pictures but, distracted by all the birdsong, ended up trying to get bird photos for an hour or two instead.


Some of the park's willows are ancient.


The trembling leaves of birch are rarely still, except during misty dawns.

Tulip Trees

Several of these have appeared across the Meadows & Links in the last few years.

Privet Hedges

Huh? Who'd want to read about privet?


If spring is the season for the Meadows cherries, autumn is the time to see the Bruntsfield Links maples.

Indian Bean Trees

Another exotic new planting. 

Persian Iron Wood

A new planting, spotted hidden away in a playpark behind the tennis courts, just as it was about to lose its first leaves. This one is going to be stunning if it survives the relentless December rain.

Giant Redwoods

Three Giant Redwoods have recently appeared and with a bit of luck will soon be taller than the Scott Monument.


Sycamores are deceptively similar to the Norway maple.  If you are photographing in autumn and you are an idiot, you will get home to find you have 250 photos of maples and one sycamore.

London Plane

Anyone who's looked up on London pavements has probably seen the beautiful mottled bark of the London Planes.


This picture is ruined by the rodent in the middle, but you get the idea here about how fascinating bark can be.


The whitebeam is a park tree. There aren't many in the wild, which is maybe why so few people know much about them.  


Some trees grow as straight as pillars, but not the crooked Hawthorn.

The Argyle Owl

I'm grateful to the people who wander over while I'm taking pictures and point out things I'd never have noticed. Such as this owl. I was told he's been there for over eight years.


Elms are fantastically Gothic in the cold seasons.

September Hunt

It's September and there's hardly an acorn or a chestnut to be seen. You wouldn't think there were that many squirrels in the Meadows but they sure do get out there in their little pick-up trucks. I needed a large cappucino and cake by the time I finally spotted this acorn. (OK, I didn't "need" coffee and cake but let me just say that this blog does not welcome pedants. However, while we're on the subject of coffee and cake, it needs to be mentioned that the area is hoaching with good coffee and tea shops, and fine cake can be found in several of them, including the Pavilion Cafe on the Meadows itself)