Glenfinart – A Garden for All

Walled Garden volunteers, supporters and the Beechgrove team bid farewell.

A Hearing Dog watches over his master. One of the volunteers on Friday.

Glorious sunshine bathed Glenfinart Walled Garden for the final day of shooting our community garden’s episode of Beechgrove Garden. Along with National Park volunteers, the sun brought a steady stream of both visitors and volunteers to the garden on Friday.

Anna Williamson, Linda Naismith, Lynn Kerr, Jim McColl & Beechgrove Director Gwyneth Hardy.

Early in the day, veteran presenter Jim McColl discussed weed control followed by a piece on the Walled Garden’s expanding productive garden with Lynn Kerr and Linda Naismith, while Anna Williamson reflected on the history of the garden specifically when her late father, Walter Muir, tended an allotment in it during the 1950’s.

Meanwhile Beechgrove presenters George Anderson, Carole Baxter, Carolyn Spray and Garden Designer, Lynn Harris allocated the beautiful range of plants, trees and evergreen, deciduous and perennial shrubs to their specific sectors of the sensory garden, according to smell, sight, sound and touch. The planting was then completed by the volunteers in record time.

Each of the four main paths within the mandala terminates with a unique seat. Three of the seats were designed, constructed and donated by local supporters: artist Andy McLintock and his contemporary sculpted creation (with built-in cushions!); Robert Young and his articulated log seating (with coffee table!) and Stephen Johnstone’s natural stone seat. The fourth seat created by Lynn Harris herself, is an imaginative grass sofa. Possibly the ideal place for watching Wimbledon on the Ipad?

Garden Designer Lynn Harris on her grass sofa.

As the Sensory Garden neared completion, work and filming continued on the kids’ area which features a hide (with grass roof), kids’ veg garden, bark paths, sundial, edible hedge, seed balls and the unique bike wheel trellis. The brainchild of Claire Fleming, she also has ambitious plans for the garden to get kids away from their computers and X-Boxes and enable young people to enjoy the outdoors in a safe, fun, creative and educational environment.

Claire’s future plans for the garden also include specific areas for those with disabilities to be fully involved in the planting, growing and cultivation of crops. This aspect is subject to gaining additional funding. However, judging by the enjoyment the kids in the garden were having on Friday afternoon, as well as Claire’s passion and determination to bring her ideas to fruition, she will clearly achieve her goal.

The kids’ area.

Throughout this final day, the show’s presenters were very approachable and actively advising and passing on gardening tips to the many visitors and volunteers who came along.

Afternoon coverage included the orchard, the Wishing Well (already receiving donations!), a visit from the knights of the round table and the Beechgrove Garden’s obligatory farewell group shot of the presenters and volunteers.

It’s been an exhausting few days, weeks and months for all those involved in bringing Beechgrove Garden to Ardentinny and making the Walled Garden the success that it clearly is. The superlatives flowing yesterday from the garden’s visitors certainly demonstrated that the majority vote by the community to buy Glenfinart Walled Garden back in 2010 was the right one. We have no doubt that this major community asset will provide the residents of Cowal and its visitors great enjoyment for many generations to come.

Well done to you all!

Beechgrove Garden from Glenfinart Walled Garden, Ardentinny will be broadcast on Thursday 15 August at 7.30pm on BBC2 (Scotland). Repeated on BBC2 (national) at 9.30pm on Sunday 18 August. Ardentinny.org has produced a complete video record of the creation of the Sensory Garden which we hope to bring to you shortly.  

Glenfinart Walled Garden is open to the public every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10.00 until 3pm.

Volunteers and supporters within the mandala for Beechgrove farewell.

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