Edinburgh’s world-famous floral clock, one of the star attractions of Princes Street Gardens, is to honour the 200th anniversary of The Scotsman this year.
The working floral timepiece, maintained by gardeners from Edinburgh City Council, will form part of a year of bicentenary celebrations, and will be seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors.
It is the first time any organisation has featured twice on the clock, with The Scotsman’s 175th celebrated in 1992.
Once complete, the display designed jointly by the council and Scotsman Publications, will bear the paper’s founders’ commitment to “good sense, courage and industry” as part of the 200th anniversary-themed plant pattern.
The floral clock, the first in the world, was created in 1903 by John W McHattie, the then parks superintendent.
In previous years the floral clock has been used to celebrate a range of occasions and organisations including the Queen’s Coronation, the 100th anniversary of Robert Louis Stevenson’s death, the Girl Guides Association and last year, the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.
Frank O’Donnell, appointed 27th editor of The Scotsman last month, said the clock honour was a great tribute from the city.
“It is a great honour to have the floral clock, located in such a fantastic location in the city, commemorating our 200th anniversary.
“The fact that we are the first organisation to be chosen twice, initially in 1992 and this year too, is a double honour in our bicentenary year.
“I am sure the many visitors to the gardens will enjoy looking at it and feel pride in Scotland’s national newspaper which has been read by generations in print and now also online.”
The Scotsman has been based in Edinburgh since it was first published in January 1817 from its original head office on the High Street.
David Jamieson, the council’s parks and greenspace manager, said: “The Scotsman newspaper is a journalistic institution so it’s great to be working with them to celebrate our 200th anniversary in the design of this much-loved Edinburgh landmark.
“The floral clock never fails to impress, thanks to the hard work of our parks team, and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labour.”
It will take gardeners more than a month to plant the clock’s 35,000 flowers and plants, which will be in bloom from July until October.
Plants used for the clock vary but usually include golden moss, lobellia and echeveria, and takes five weeks to plant.