Karen Koren: Don’t miss the spectacular Night Garden

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THERE are only five days left of the Night in the Garden at the Botanics. I went along reluctantly, not sure what I was going to make of it all, as I had preconceived expectations as to how it would be - like many, I have been spoilt by the razzle dazzle of Disney, all sparkles and bright lights, which can be great entertainment but ultimately quite artificial and phony.

I am very pleased to say that the event is absolutely nothing like that. I found it a very personal experience and would have been quite happy to walk through the gardens alone. The peace and tranquillity made me feel safe and secure. I was surprised by my reaction as we walked around looking at the up-lighting in the trees, all different colours and shapes. I would defy anyone to not be tempted to take photographs. I took lots.

The experience is great way to get kids to notice nature, the lighting effects make the gardens look completely different from how they look during the day. The part I was not so impressed by was the pond - the music was very dark and creepy. It made the water look like a swamp and put me in mind of that Robert Mitchum movie Cape Fear. Still, it was extremely well done and other people might interpret it completely differently, I’m sure.

Towards the end of the walk, in front of Inverleith House, is a view of the city skyline with the Castle. There is a gold frame where you can get a picture-perfect photograph of the city at night. There is also a huge chandelier on the lawn in front of the house which is made up of glass bottles and highly decorated. The house itself has a light show of changing flock style wallpaper, giving the feeling of bringing the inside out.

It is all very impressive and well worth the visit. There may be criticism that there was not enough music, but I appreciated the tranquillity. Let’s hope they decide to make it an annual event. Unique and for young and old, experience it before it is over.