City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

New Public Artwork and planting of Scottish bluebells bring new life to Pilrig Park


By Irene Brown - Posted on 29 September 2014

After six months of involvement, Citizen Curator is proud to announce the unveiling of a new Public Artwork by German born and Edinburgh based artist Andrea Geile. The installation is accompanied by a family friendly programme of events in celebration of the redevelopment of Edinburgh’s Pilrig Park.

Four giant green Tree Tags along the ‘long walk’ in Pilrig Park inscribed with children’s handwriting in four different languages hang from the branches of trees, reflecting the diverse cultures. The tags were made following workshops with pupils from Bun-sgoil Taobh na Páirce Gaelic school which borders the park.

At the side of the Park’s playground, a native Scottish Bluebell woodland has been planted as part of a new management plan for the park to reintroduce the much-needed Biodiversity of plant, bug and wildlife.

Taking inspiration from historical botanical connections in the area, lead project artist Andrea Geile draws upon the work of John Hutton Balfour (1808-1884), a key figure in botanical education and exploration, for inspiration. Fusing his legendary teaching methods with contemporary creative approaches to the development of public green spaces, Geile, together with consultant horticulturalist Becky Govier, has worked with the local community to invest in their surroundings through an understanding of the rightful place of plants in a biodiverse ecosystem. The former Balfour home, Pilrig House, still stands and the former estate is now publicly enjoyed as Pilrig Park.

Andrea Geile said, “John Hutton Balfour’s enthusiasm for planting and his passion for teaching was legendary. We have enjoyed taking this ethos and sharing it with the participants of the project. And what a result - more plant life, more bug life and a new public artwork for Pilrig Park.”

This project is funded by Grow Wild through support from Kew Gardens and the Big Lottery Fund.