Born and bred in Edinburgh, it’s a city I’ve come to love. One of my favourite places to visit is the Royal Botanic Garden, usually referred to by regulars as the ‘Botanics’.

The garden was established in 1670 and is as relevant in today’s world as it was then – perhaps more so. It truly has something to offer at any time of year and is a wonderful oasis of tranquillity in the middle of a bustling city.

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of the Botanics – as a ‘youngster’, I was regularly taken there by my grandmother. It was great fun to collect pinecones, which at the right time of year are in plentiful supply on the ground. We used to take them back home to grandma’s, and I was allowed to place them carefully on the open fire. I can still remember the beautiful aroma which wafted around the room. Life was so much simpler then!

I’m lucky, because our store is only 150 yards along the road from the Botanics’ East gate on Inverleith Row. Many of our customers take the opportunity to visit the gardens when they come to see us, especially those from far afield.

I often pop along the road at lunchtime, or when I need to clear my head on a particularly busy day. The views of Edinburgh city skyline can be breathtaking on those rare occasions when it isn’t raining!