Edinburgh’s Floral Clock marks 100 years since Armistice

Marking 100 years since the signing of the Armistice, the finishing touches have been added to Edinburgh’s Floral Clock.

The West Princes Street Gardens landmark was created in partnership with Poppyscotland as part of their year-long fundraising campaign, The 1918 Poppy Pledge.

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross was joined by Poppyscotland’s chief executive Mark Bibbey to unveil the design, which features a poppy flanked by two soldiers.

Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said: “It is an honour to be able to support the life-changing work carried out by Poppyscotland with this Floral Clock design, which this year will provide a particularly poignant reminder of the signing of the Armistice, 100 years on from the end of World War One.

“As always, I am delighted to officially unveil this striking and much-loved creation, which is a source of enjoyment and fascination for so many people every day, and I’d like to congratulate our dedicated parks staff, whose hard work has paid off once again.”

The Floral Clock was first created in 1903 by the Edinburgh Parks Superintendent, John McHattie.

Initially it operated with only an hour hand with a minute hand added in 1904, followed by an accompanying cuckoo clock in 1952.

Until 1972 the clock was operated mechanically, and had to be wound daily.

Since 1946 it has been designed in honour of various organisations and individuals, including the Girl Guides Association, Robert Louis Stevenson and the Queen, for her Golden Jubilee.

It has taken two gardeners more than a month to plant the 35,000 flowers and plants used to create the clock, which will be in bloom until October.

Gordon Michie, head of fundraising at Poppyscotland, said: ‘I am delighted that The City of Edinburgh Council has chosen to commemorate the signing of the Armistice this year by dedicating the world-famous Floral Clock to Poppyscotland and our work supporting beneficiaries across Scotland.

‘This support, which is part of our wider #1918PoppyPledge campaign, will give a unique, powerful and emotive view of Remembrance in the vibrancy and colour of the 35,000 flowers that have been planted.

‘It will be a place to not only visit and take photographs, but also a place to reflect on the sacrifices that so many gave on our behalf. Furthermore, it is fitting that the Floral Clock is situated close to so many other monuments in West Princes Street Gardens to those that have served.’

Poppyscotland provides life-changing support to the Armed Forces community, with money raised from the Scottish Poppy Appeal and year-round fundraising enabling the charity to provide tailored funding and assistance, as well as advice, employment, housing, healthcare and respite.