Part of the imaginative kids area of Glenfinart Walled Garden is the cycle wheel sculpture created by Claire Fleming.

More images from today are below. Click to enlarge.

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National Park Volunteers at Glenfinart

A ten-strong group of volunteers from Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park were this morning working with local volunteers preparing the Sensory Garden for turfing. Filming of the Beechgrove Garden has commenced, so if you’d like to come along and take part, we’re at the Walled Garden today, Thursday and Friday from 9am.


Glenfinart’s Mandala

Photographed from above on Tuesday evening. The Sensory Garden awaits its transformation into Glenfinart’s mandala.


Twas the Day before Filming

On the eve of the Beechgrove Garden team arriving in Ardentinny, late morning saw the Walled Garden volunteers unloading a small mountain of turf as well as a beautiful range of plants, shrubs and trees which will grace the Sensory Garden.

Construction of the natural stone Wishing Well is underway (courtesy of Stephen Johnstone and Ian Kerr) and the sensory beds are being prepared for the filming on Thursday and Friday.

Volunteers are welcome to take part in the programme, so do come along to Glenfinart Walled Garden on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday from 9am.

Meryl attempts to stop the turf juggernaut single-handedly!

Turf is unloaded at Walled Garden entrance.


The plants follow

Bill doing his back in!

Stephen puts the finishing touches to the wishing well.

Ready for planting!

The turf will cover the ‘tump’.

Samuel constructs the 3-bin composting system.



Walled Garden transformation continues…

Sensory Garden on Monday evening.

Monday was another busy day for the Glenfinart Walled Garden volunteers, with the completion of most of the paths (20 tons of hoggin moved from outside the Bowling Club!), spreading of top soil and compost as well as construction of the wishing well. Tuesday sees the arrival of the turf to cover the tump and a variety of plants for planting later in the week.

Tuesday’s weather in the garden will be sunny with the odd light shower, so bring along the family to get involved with this great community effort. We’re here from 9am!


Frenzied activity in run-up to Beechgrove

Sensory Garden, Sunday.

With just three days until the BBC’s Beechgrove Garden team arrive to record a programme dedicated to Ardentinny’s historic Glenfinart Walled Garden, community volunteers have been working overtime this weekend laying the ground work for the sensory garden.

Despite torrential downpours, 40 tons of hardcore material have been laid on the paths of the intricate Mandala-shaped sensory garden, with some 20 tons going in over the weekend. This will be followed by a 20 ton top coating of environmentally friendly hoggin material on Monday.

With turf for the raised ‘tump’ and a range of plants arriving on Tuesday, the volunteers have been preparing the ground with top soil and donated compost from local Dun Darraich Stables. Meanwhile Ardentinny stonemason, Steven Johnstone, has been putting the finishing touches to a beautiful natural stone seat which he has donated and created entirely with stone from within the garden.

It’s going to be a fascinating week!

Moving 20 tons of hardcore.

Sensory Garden, Friday.


Mouth watering produce from Walled Garden

A milestone was reached this weekend for the dedicated Ardentinny Community Trust Glenfinart Walled Garden team as the first produce from the garden went on sale at the Blairmore Local Producers Market.

The mouth watering display of strawberries, rhubarb, cabbage, courgettes, lettuce, herbs and a range of plants, chocolate, home-baking and tablet raised over £100 for the Community Trust.


Sensory Beechgrove garden taking shape

Wednesday 24 July

The Beechgrove sensory garden is making great progress today despite the very changeable weather.

Glenfinart Walled Garden volunteers assisted by the Beechgrove team are now spending most of their waking hours preparing the ground for the cameras next week. The paths are going in, as final touches are made to the layout. It’s going to be an amazing place!

Why not come along this weekend and get involved in this marvellous Cowal community effort. We’ll also be at the Blairmore Local Producers Market this Saturday with some local Ardentinny produce, so stop by and say hello!

Thursday 25 July.

Friday 26 July.


Firefighters’ swift action controls forest blaze

A firefighter surveys the damage.

With Ardentinny temperatures reaching some 26C, a forest fire was narrowly avoided above Sandy Beach yesterday thanks to the quick action of Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.

The alarm was raised by a local resident who alerted emergency services just after 3pm. Two fire appliances from Dunoon were on the scene within 20 minutes and extinguished the blaze which mainly affected scrub in the forest above the beach. The fire tenders remained at the scene for several hours dousing the blackened terrain.

We understand that the water supply to the beach toilets and bowling club was also cut. The beach picnic area was packed at the time with many families camped out over the weekend. On Sunday afternoon a fire service appliance returned to the scene and firefighters again doused the area (see video below).

Visitors are reminded to take special care throughout the hot weather and to ensure that barbecues and cigarettes are extinguished properly and glass bottles are disposed of carefully.

The fire from across the bay.

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Beechgrove: The final recce

George Anderson and the Beechgrove team with some Trust members and volunteers at the Beechgrove plot.

BBC’s Beechgrove Garden team of Producer, Gwyneth Hardy; Designer, Lynn Harris; and Researcher, Stacey Shear together with Presenter, George Anderson, did a final recce on Friday before finalising their filming schedule for the end of the month. They first checked the progress being made in Ardentinny Community’s Glenfinart Walled Garden and, in particular, the Sensory Garden which will be the main focus of their programme.

George Anderson also advised the Walled Garden team on the problem of “Mares’ Tail’ weed and pronounced it invincible, declaring that it can only be kept at bay with regular hoeing. He also suggested that the orchard needed regular pruning and lots of bird boxes to encourage birds which would eat the caterpillars.

Presenter George Anderson and the Beechgrove team check out Andy McLintock’s seat sculpture.

The team then went on to recce several domestic private gardens in the area for possible inclusion in the programme, one of which was Andy McLintock’s in Kilmun. Andy, a local sculptor, is kindly donating one of his works in the shape of a garden seat for the Sensory Garden.

Lynn’s design includes several seats, of which Andy’s is one. Ardentinny resident and stone mason, Stephen Johnstone is both constructing and donating a stone seat; similarly, a carpenter from Kilmun is carving and donating a wooden bench; Designer Lynn Harris plans to create a grass sofa and a local resident has commissioned a metal bench in memory of a friend.

In addition to these generous donations, Ardentinny Community Trust is also indebted to its tireless volunteers and the support and donations of individuals and companies, most notably West Coast Tool & Plant Hire who continue to supply invaluable equipment, free of charge.

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