Ardentinny Champion

com_awardArdentinny Community Trust is delighted to report that Dennis Gower is the recipient of a Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Community Partnership ‘Long Standing Champion Award’.

The award was presented at the Partnership’s Annual Gathering which this year was entitled “Food for Thought’ to reflect the role that food and drink can play in community life. Very apt, considering that Dennis was the driving force which took Ardentinny’s Glenfinart Walled Garden project from initial approach on the community’s first right to buy; through a village-wide consultation process; subsequent purchase; and development of the garden to what it is today. Namely, a community space which includes a welcoming and contemplative sensory garden; an orchard; a children’s garden; and a productive organic vegetable garden, all made possible by the dedicated hard work of a number of volunteer organisations and individuals. The project benefits the local and wider community in a variety of ways, offering support and development while catering for special needs.

However Dennis’ contribution to community is not confined to the garden. He has served as a community councillor for the past 9 years and, on the Council’s behalf, was instigatory in negotiations with Forestry Commission Scotland on a local hydro scheme. Therefore, this ‘Long Standing’ award is both fitting and deserved.


Ardentinny Community Trust Newsletter – October 2015

Ardentinny Community Trust Newsletter – October 2015 (PDF)




Harvest Fair welcomes the visitors

P1010881-1What has now become an annual event, last weekend’s Glenfinart Walled Garden’s Harvest Fair celebrated another year of garden produce and progress.

The garden’s resident horticulturalist/gardener Franziska Schmidt and her amazing groups of volunteers excelled themselves in what has been a difficult year, weather-wise, for all local gardens.

Delicious apple juice was pressed from the orchard’s apples and soup from the vegetable garden provided warm and welcome sustenance.

The ubiquitous tea tent show-cased local baking skills and a variety of stalls provided additional interest.

There was also plenty for the kids from story-telling and jousting with the Green Knights to decorating their pots with Potter Bill.

Live music kept everyone upbeat and a very successful day culminated in raising approximately £1500.

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Glenfinart Walled Garden Masterclasses get underway

Glenfinart Walled Garden held the first of this season’s Masterclasses today. Resident expert horticulturalist and gardener, Franziska Schmidt, ably took participants through the importance of good soil maintenance with natural fertilizers to ensure healthy crops; and the intricacies of identifying and preparing natural pesticides to keep plants as bug-free as possible.

There were lots of interesting questions, answers and general discussion over tea and around the garden and the group was unanimous in its appreciation of a most informative and motivating gardening masterclass.

The next one, entitled, ‘The Art of Making Soil, Composting Techniques’ will be held at the garden from 12-3 p.m. on the 18th October. Participation is free.


Ardentinny Community Trust Annual Report 2014-2015

Download Ardentinny Community Trust Annual Report 2014-2015 (PDF)


Cowal Open Studios annual picnic

IMG_0027-1On Sunday 26th July Cowal Open Studios held their annual picnic in Glenfinart Walled Garden. There was an array of interesting titbits to eat and cold drinks chilling in the ice box.

Unfortunately, due to the rather damp weather, eating al fresco was not possible. However both the garden cabin and marquee on the edge of the orchard made excellent rain cover and a good time was had by all.

Cowal Open Studios weekend takes place from 25 – 28 September. More information here.

Lynn Kerr


Glenfinart Walled Garden hosts first wedding

Ardentinny’s historic Glenfinart Walled Garden last week marked a milestone as a wedding venue.

Clair Tierney and Derek Nelson chose to exchange their vows within the grade 2 listed walls of the century-old garden which was bought by the community of Ardentinny in 2012.

Set beside the only beach in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park with its Argyll forest backdrop, the garlanded entrance and flower-lined avenue surrounded by the orchard, sensory and children’s gardens provided the perfect setting for this special occasion with family and friends.

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Tighnabruaich Rural visit Glenfinart Garden

Tlghnabruach Rural ladies around the wishing well.

Tighnabruach Rural ladies around the wishing well.

A beautiful sunny day greeted the ladies from Tighnabruaich Rural earlier in April when they visited Glenfinart Walled Garden. Accompanied by volunteers Anna and Lynn, the group were given a guided tour of the garden as well as an overview on its history.

Glenfinart Walled Garden is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday 12 – 4pm. Entrance is free. 


A visit to the garden

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Lynn, Angus, Kira, Fiona, Scott & Meryl hard at work.

Last Thursday we visited Glenfinart Walled Garden for the first time this year. We were welcomed as usual by the folks already working in the garden. It was Lynns’ first time at the garden so she was shown round and saw from the photographs how much the garden has changed over the past few years since the volunteers have taken it over.

Angus was asked would he like to come and help in the garden and was soon planting out peas that had been grown in the poly tunnel with his new friend Kira… they also planted their own sunflowers in pots to take home. Hopefully these will grow as tall as the ones that we saw grown along the side of the poly tunnel last year.

Some of the volunteers were turning over the ground in the vegetable beds and Angus and Kira made themselves useful collecting the weeds for the compost.

By now Angus was beginning to feel quite an expert at gardening so he decided that he would quite like to have a shot at digging over the vegetable beds with a “big spade”…. quite how myself and Lynn found ourselves volunteering to help with this digging we are not quite sure…. perhaps it was the bribe of tea and home-baking or possibly the unexpected heat going to our heads within the shelter of the garden.. but one way or another we found ourselves spades in hand helping to turn over two of the beds ready for planting. Treasure was found in the shape of bits of old crockery, bits of quartz and also seed potatoes left in the ground from last year.

As an experiment it was decided that as the potatoes we were digging up were of a good size and were starting to grow, that they should be moved to this years potato growing bed and that Angus was to plant them. Merle showed him how to hoe the dirt and then cover them over, and explained how they would be watered and earthed up and we would see how well they did over the next season. She wrote out a label for them – Angus’ potatoes, and wondered how many people would think that this was a new strain of tatties being grown in the garden. Nikki the dog kept a watchful eye over the proceedings.

The ladies from the Tighnabruach rural arrived to view the garden having just had lunch at Blairmore. They toured the garden then made themselves at home trying out the various seats and benches around the garden and having a good look at all the plants which were also being visited by butterflies and bumblebees.

The ladies had their picture taken by the wishing well then went off to enjoy the rest of their day out. By this time we were more than ready for a cup of tea or juice and to try out the pancakes and fruit loaf on offer!

Suitably refreshed there was time to dig over one more bed before we went for our lunch. We couldn’t believe that we had spent almost 4 hours enjoying ourselves! Lynn admitted that she had enjoyed her first lesson in digging but that she wasn’t sure that she was going to make a habit of it but felt a sense of achievement after all her hard work, and that she looked forward to seeing how things would grow in the garden.

We had to come back on Friday morning to buy some plants to take home to our own gardens and look forward to seeing them grow, and remind us of our lovely afternoon!

You don’t have to take up a spade to enjoy the garden, it’s just as nice to have a wander round, so we would recommend that its a great place to visit, for quarter of an hour…. or longer… the time will just fly by :)

Fiona, Lynn and Angus.

Kira and Angus

Kira and Angus check out the kids garden.


Easter Eggstravaganza at Walled Garden

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Despite a chilly start to the day, people arrived early for the Forestry’s Easter Eggstravaganza at Ardentinny’s beach on Easter Monday. Glenfinart Walled Garden was open to all with the tea tent selling drinks and home baking from 11a.m. By 2.40p.m. they were sold out as there was a constant stream of appreciative customers.

The children, parents and grannies thoroughly enjoyed the craft activities in the shed – Mask making and Easter Finger Puppets. Before long the garden was awash with masked children and even some masked adults! 

There were also sunflower seeds to plant and take home, and the children could try their hand at throwing a pot on a Potter’s Wheel which will be fired and ready to collect in 3 weeks’ time. 

Finally, the sun came out and shone down on all the happy faces. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and the Walled Garden is now richer by £520. A big thank you to all who made it such a success, THANK YOU!

Lynn Kerr

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