Rowanbank Gardens


Almost 150 new trees, plus herb and vegetable growing beds and more than half a kilometre of evergreen hedgerows, are to be provided at Artisan Real Estate’s Rowanbank Gardens in Corstorphine, Edinburgh, as the low carbon development continues to set new standards in environmentally sensitive living.

Already making headlines for its fossil fuel-free design credentials, with monthly energy bills estimated at less than £65 per month, Rowanbank Gardens is now set to deliver a unique mix of garden spaces aimed at maximising the benefits of outdoor living. Described as a ‘spectacular blueprint for low carbon living’, the development will deliver 93 apartments for private sale, together with 33 affordable homes, set around a large communal garden. The garden area will contain a mix of 30 fruit trees, including cherry and Cox’s Orange Pippin and Red Windsor apple trees. There will also be several large growing beds with space for strawberries, herbs and vegetables surrounded by woodland grass meadows, and even a dedicated potting shed complete with a planted ‘turfed’ roof.

Rowanbank Gardens has been designed to set standards for sustainable, low-carbon development, challenging many of the norms associated with the building of traditional apartment buildings in city centre areas. Its construction follows Artisan’s design framework geared to achieving low to zero carbon city living, which starts with ‘use less, first.’ From the start, external landscaping has been an important factor in the layout and design of the development.

“We wanted to create an external environment which was both in tune with nature and instrumental in bringing residents together,” explains David Westwater, Artisan’s Development Director for Scotland. “One of the lessons we learned from the pandemic was that apartment dwellers, even in the city centre, need to have a strong connection both with the outdoors and with their neighbours. So, as well as providing private balcony and patio areas for the majority of apartments, we also decided to be more proactive with our communal green spaces, rather than simply providing the usual manicured square of grassed lawn and flower beds.

“Rowanbank Gardens’ residents will be able to grow their own herbs and vegetables together in raised growing beds as well as being able to harvest cherries and apples from almost 30 fruit trees. And the planting of 520 metres of evergreen Yew and Burkwood hedgerows surrounding the development will provide an attractive all-year-round border for those inside and out, whilst providing a natural habitat for birds and other wildlife.”

He added: “The turfed roofs of the main apartment buildings, bike and potting sheds will also attract plant, insect and bird life which are encouraged with natural inducements such as wild-flower planting. We will be working with future residents and the local community to explore the potential of hosting bee hives on the apartment roofs as well as the possibility of managing an on-site chicken coop for the benefit of residents.”


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