These beautiful gardens lie in a valley that was once occupied by the Nor’ Loch (North Loch), a boggy depression that was drained in the early 19th century. At the gate beside The Mound is the Floral Clock, a working clock laid out in flowers; it was first created in 1903 and the design changes every year.
In the middle of the western part of the gardens is the Ross Bandstand, a venue for open-air concerts in summer and at Hogmanay, and the stage for the famous fireworks concert during the Edinburgh International Festival (there are plans to replace the bandstand with a modern pavilion).
The gardens are split in the middle by The Mound – around two million cartloads of earth that were dug out from foundations during the construction of the New Town and dumped here to provide a road link across the valley to the Old Town. The road was completed in 1830.