Our Charitable Aims

Our Charitable aims are:

  • The advancement of education,
  • The relief of those in need by reasons of age, ill health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage.

We seek to fulfil these aims by:

  • Providing opportunities to learn horticultural and craft skills,
  • Encouraging volunteering, particularly amongst groups with mental health challenges or who need to keep active,
  • Supporting individuals seeking to strengthen their mental and physical health through gardening,
  • Providing opportunities for isolated people to get social support.

Our Charity, ‘Growing Matters’ (SCIO SC047568) was registered with OSCR in 2017.

The 25 year lease granted by the Sir David Kinloch Trust has allowed us to plan for a renewal of the garden at Gilmerton over time, whilst exploring different aspects of horticulture.


Ruth Ellis

My career has been in classical music but I have always had a keen interest in plants both for the house and my small garden. Space to grow vegetables was lacking and so ‘finding’ the walled garden in 2021 was a real bonus. I soon became a keen volunteer.

I have joined in with many group activities and learnt new skills through the sharing of the other volunteers’ knowledge and experience. I have had the pleasure of helping to cultivate communal plots, cut willow, chop apples for apple pressing, as well as doing lots of weeding! Most recently I have been preparing and planting up a hew herb garden.

I also have an individual plot to grow vegetables. My onions last year were a triumph!

The garden has provided friendship, healthy exercise and a welcome calmness. There is something magical about walking through the gate into this other world. I feel privileged to be able to care for this very special place both as a volunteer and now, as a trustee.

June Tainsh

Originally responsible for the planning and creation of the project, June Tainsh, garden designer and former volunteer co-ordinator at nearby Amisfield, was approached by Sir David Kinloch and his partner Mel Pumfrey to look at ways of developing the garden.  June designed the garden to reflect many aspects of a traditional walled garden, taking on board influences from other similar projects. She remains a trustee, and we benefit from her ongoing experience as Garden Manager at Helmsley Therapeutic Garden.

Diana Walker, Treasurer

Having been associated with Gilmerton Estate for over 50 years, I am delighted that the garden is being returned to its former glory and in the process is giving help and direction for all the people involved.


Charlie Jacholke, Trustee

I grew up on Gilmerton estate and can remember Gilmerton kitchen garden just at the end of its heyday, the pruned fruit trees along the heated walls and wide beds of vegetables. The greenhouse had a grapevine and was used to grow tomatoes. Sadly time and neglect caught up and it was turned into a field for grain crops and then Christmas trees. It’s so nice to be part of the team bringing new life to the garden so it can be enjoyed by visitors and the volunteers who are working hard to rejuvenate this special place.

John Maule, Trustee

I have had an interest in gardening from an early age, when I was allowed to cultivate a small corner of my parents’ garden. This probably contributed to my interest in biology which continued throughout my school years and led me to study botany and genetics at university. Thereafter, I became side-tracked into the new discipline of molecular biology and came to Edinburgh to do medical research, where I remained until my retirement several years ago. My interest in gardening persuaded me to acquire an allotment in Edinburgh, which I have had since 1972. Shortly after retirement, I became a volunteer at nearby Amisfield Walled Garden, a position I still hold. In 2016 I joined the pioneering group of volunteers as we started to clear and layout the kitchen garden at Gilmerton. I never cease to be delighted at the challenges this project throws up and the wonderful friends I have made during this process.