Pond at Dr. Neil's Garden in Edinburgh.


noun /ˈhāvən/

1. a safe or peaceful place

2. a place of refuge for animals

If one was to walk through the sleepy village of Duddingston on the outskirts of Edinburgh, through a small parking lot, to the back of the church where it borders on the loch, they would find an iron gate with a latch in the shape of a duck. 

Behind this is a secret garden.


There are many animals in Dr. Neil's Garden. Birds of all kinds: doves, swans, waders. There are oftentimes frogs in the pond, butterflies above the flowers, and rabbits by the stone wall. And of course, each plant, each tree is home to thousands of smaller life forms, insects and the like.

All of these animals can find peace in the garden.


Whenever I need a moment of silence, I leave the house to walk. It so happens that my feet know the way, and they will never fail to lead me to a space of greenery. 

Some unknown force runs through such spaces as gardens, this force is instantly calming. Almost soothing. In a garden I can straighten out my tangled thoughts and find some peace.

Gardens act as a refuge to all kinds of life forms, giving them a space that exists outside the everyday worries and bothers of the world.

Dr. Neil's Garden - pathways in a secret garden, Edinburgh.
Butterfly on a stone wall, in the secret garden of Dr. Neil.
Pigeon in a tree in Dr. Neil's Garden.
Bench by the lake in Dr. Neil's secret garden in Edinburgh.