Over the past year, since Ardentinny Community Trust finalised the purchase of Glenfinart Walled Garden from the Forestry Commission under the National Forest Land Scheme, this community garden has seen a gradual transformation from a neglected space to one of slow but sure development of this local asset.
A small orchard has been established, with a vigorous vegetable growing area, along with an exciting children’ garden that richly rewards exploration.
However, the successful application to become one of Beechgrove Garden’s featured community gardens has accelerated the project at warp speed.
Many weeks of hard work by a small band of Cowal volunteers paid off last week, with the completion of Glenfinart Walled Garden’s ‘Sensory Garden’, designed by Beechgrove landscape designer, Lynn Harris.
Lynn’s mandala design features four sensory beds, with plants, shrubs and trees categorised by smell, sight, sound and touch. These are surrounded by a grassed ‘tump’, within which four paths lead to seating created by local artists and craftsmen.
The Walled Garden entrance has been transformed and is now a beautiful drive, lined with young trees and shrubs.
Children have an imaginative and playful garden of their own complete with a hide, sundial, edible hedge, amazing cycle-wheel trellis and – never forgetting - the magical natural stone wishing well constructed by Ian Kerr and Stephen Johnstone.
Within this area, there are also plans to include facilities to enable those with disabilities to get full enjoyment from the garden.
Trust Convener Bill Williamson says: ‘From the beginning we consulted the community as to the type of garden best suited to their needs and preferences.
‘We are very grateful to designer Lynn Harris and the Beechgrove team who have provided us with guidance and expertise every step of the way to bring to fruition this fantastic result.
‘The role of Beechgrove was not to produce an instant garden, but instead to act as a catalyst, to enable us to undertake the project ourselves.
‘It was a daunting task, but I think that, with their expertise and unstinting support, we have exceeded all expectations.
‘Over the past weeks the response from Cowal volunteers and others who have travelled many miles to lend a hand has been fantastic.
‘Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park has provided us with teams of 10 volunteers who, along with our other supporters, have had to work in some horrendous weather conditions.
‘It has been a humbling experience and we are very grateful to them all. The support from local businesses who have supplied machinery, equipment and materials has also been excellent.’
For the TV diary – 15th August
Beechgrove Garden from Glenfinart Walled Garden will be broadcast on BBC2 (Scotland) at 7.30pm on Thursday 15th August.
It will be repeated on BBC2 (national) at 9.30pm on Sunday 18th August.
And how about a visit in person?
Living in this area means, of course, that as well as seeing the Walled garden on national television, people can go there is person to experience it – with all four senses on amber alert for potential experiences.
The garden is open to the public and to volunteers every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10am until 3pm.
For more information, visit the Glenfinart Walled Garden online here.