Submitted by Editor on Wed, 10/05/2017 - 15:39


It all began so promisingly. 

Uninterrupted grass returfed across St Andrew Square Garden. 

The promise of no more intrusive events taking up space here during the Fringe. 

And only a few contented tourists sheltering from the rain in Costa Coffee. 

And then the sun came out. People began peppering the grass like daisies. It was lovely.

And next — Who knows quite when, in what order? — the vertical Costa ‘welcome flags’ appeared, as if inviting us in, ever so pleasantly, to a little sphere of corporate influence just beyond the café’s own demesne. Like it was theirs to bestow.



And then today the deckchairs arrived –  all 30 of them – and were lined up on the grass immediately opposite. Are they for customers? Can anybody use them? Are they for rent? What happens if they’ve been parked on a bit of grass a non-customer would like to sit on? And are they allowed to be picked up and plonked down anywhere? Wouldn't it be awful if people just walked off with them?

Who asked for all this branded clutter? Who agreed to it? How much more may we expect to see?

We’ve started to be worried again about everything in St Andrew Square, but probably shouldn’t. For, obviously, these boxes which the deckchairs came in won’t litter the grass forever.



Of course they won’t.

Because there’s a proper place for that sort of thing along with plastic stacking trays round the back.



And, of course, Costa and Essential Edinburgh have learned their lessons from last summer. There’ll certainly be no repeat of unsightly, overflowing bins like this one, photographed … um, earlier today at lunchtime.



And there'll be no more creeping, crass commercialisation. Count on it.

Unless you count the Portrait Gallery’s seaside-attraction head-in-a-hole advertisement stand, or – today – this elegant, pop-up gazebo-ette promoting the North America Travel Service and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. We assume theyre aiming holidays at Edinburgh residents – perhaps all those determined to escape the Business Improvement District this summer.



No, all things considered, everything in the Garden is rosy. It’s early days, of course, but the management of St Andrew Square – an oasis of green tranquility in the heart of the city – remains in very safe hands. Of course it does.

And just in case it doesnt … were watching.

Got a view? Get in touch at or @theSpurtle or Facebook