On the outskirts of Edinburgh, just between the place where the city peters out and the open space of the Pentland Hills begin, lies the Secret Herb Garden.

Things Helen Loves, armchairs and side tables in shabby chic style

The garden was created by Hamish and Liberty, who wanted to create something special that blended their love of herbs, good food and all things vintage. The result is a whimsical green space, abundant in herbs and flowers and packed with eye catching corners and vintage treasures.

Things Helen Loves, jam jar with rustic flower display in it.
Beautifully simple, simply beautiful.

Beyond the botanicals, the site is also home to a gin distillery, shop and café. The shop and café uses a range of herbs and flowers from the garden in the goods on offer, and also supports other Scottish producers.

Things Helen Loves, bottles of botanical gin on display

The owners have struck a beautiful balance between running a fruitful business and creating a calm and nurturing haven for visitors.

Things Helen Loves, section of garden viewed through trellis with climbing plant

There’s something about stepping into a greenhouse, however large or small. The warmth, the smells, the greenery… it’s all very comforting. Anyone else get this, or just me? The greenhouse at the Secret Herb Garden does not disappoint. Winding walkways make the place feel bigger than it actually is and lush planting creates lots of hidden spots, each with its own surprise. The planting throws up a few surprises too, who would have thought figs and grapes would be grown in abundance in Scotland?

Things Helen Loves, picture of playouse surrounded by plants in a greenhouse
The little house in the greenhouse.

The greenhouse and the adjacent school room are home to sprawling and comfortable seating for those who want to stay a while. It’s hard to resist taking a seat, the vintage chairs piled with cushions and throws are very inviting. As are the home baked cakes on offer in the café. In the interests of research, I spent a bit of time curled up on one of the aforementioned chairs with a latte and a wedge of salted caramel cake. All were delightful.

Things Helen Loves, image of coffee and cake on rustic table

The Secret Herb Garden showcases the form and function of plants and herbs beautifully, but it’s also brimming with interiors and garden inspiration. Living in military married quarters, I’ve never really had an established garden. We, literally, haven’t stayed anywhere long enough to put down roots.

Things Helen Loves, jars of herbs on a shelf

Preparing to move the length of the UK to take over yet another new quarter, it’s easy to feel a bit daunted by the idea of creating a new nest. Seeing how the garden grouped together cosy chairs, dressed shelves and table tops and repurposed vintage items for function or display has sown the seeds of excitement. I’m looking forward to taking a bit of Scottish inspiration all the way to Wiltshire. Pictures to follow. Possibly… see how it goes.

Things Helen Loves, armchairs and side tables in shabby chic style

So, that’s my little blog post on our visit to the Secret Herb Garden. I’ve spent one year living in Edinburgh and will soon move on, but this place has been hands down my favourite Edinburgh find. It takes a little effort to get to and it’s off the well worn Old Town-New Town tourist track, but that’s a huge part of its charm.

The Secret Herb Garden. It’s a garden, but not just a garden. It’s much, much more. Find all you need to know to visit the garden here.

If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy:

The Glasshouse Experience @ Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden

Garden Art @ Herrenhausen, Hannover.

12 thoughts

  1. Thanks to your post, we actually went here today! I had never heard of it before, but we were visiting Penicuik House and I realised it must be close by. Delicious tea and cake and a wee wander. We didn’t buy any plants, but we did leave with a bottle of gin. Oops!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Ah, this has made my day. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’m not surprised you left with gin, such beautiful sounding flavours in beautiful looking bottles. Who could resist?

  2. Ooh I have never heard of this!! Sounds wonderful, and the cafe sounds cozy too. May just have to pop down there at some point!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Do, it’s worth the effort. Flowers, cake and gin… It’s a winning combination!

  3. Love visiting botanical gardens when traveling. Will have to add this one to our list! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      It’s a little out of the centre but worth the effort, definitely a good stop for a garden enthusiast!

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