Community Trust reviews another successful year

On 8 September 2016 Ardentinny Commuity Trust (ACT) held its AGM. Trust Convenor, Anna Williamson, welcomed the attendees and invited them to take time to read the previous AGM’s Minutes and the Treasurer’s Report prior to reporting on the progress of the Trust’s Glenfinart Walled Garden Project.

The year saw the appointment of gardener/horticulturalist, Franziska Schmidt, who not only oversaw the planting and further development of the garden but also produced an informative monthly issue of ‘Gardener’s Blether’ and ran a series of excellent Masterclasses throughout the year. New Trustees, Jean Rowland and Jim Urquhart joined the committee; and from May 2015 the garden opened to the public to coincide with the monthly Soup and Sandwich event in the village hall.

Events

At what has become something of a tradition, Glenfinart Walled Garden held its spring opening day in conjunction with Forestry Commission Scotland’s Easter Monday Eggstravaganza. In July the garden was the venue for the wedding of local girl, Claire Tierney and was also enjoyed by many Ardentinny residents.The Big Picnic in August coincided with one of the few dry days and was well attended and a great success. The Garden’s open season culminated with the Harvest Fair in October which coincided with Cowalfest’s visit.

Fundraising and Outreach

A National Park grant enabled trees and shrubs to be removed from the back wall to facilitate access. The resulting logs were sold on to augment garden funds. The Garden had a fundraising stall at Dunoon Dazzle and the Village Hall’s Michaelmas Fair.

Visitors

In addition to individual visits by locals and those from farther afield, the garden welcomed a variety of groups throughout the year. In May there was a visit from Inner Wheel. Two college tutors plus 6 students from Dunoon Grammar came along to gather information for a PowerPoint for their horticultural group. The Federation of City Farms visited in June and provided lots of helpful information. Students from Dunoon Grammar and Primary learning centres spent enjoyable days out in the garden. Cowal Open Studios held a picnic on a very wet day in July; and approximately 40 art students from Glasgow, who were attending Ardentinny Outdoor Centre, spent much of their week in the garden building up their portfolios. There were also visits by a Church of Scotland Group and Tighnabruaich Rural.

Volunteer and Community support

Throughout the year there was regular and much appreciated support from the following:

Individual volunteers and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park groups of volunteers

Carr Gomm

Community Payback

ISS Cowal & Bute Team

The Convenor concluded by thanking everyone who had donated their time, funds, energy, goods, and expertise, all of which was greatly appreciated.

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Latest from Glenfinart Walled Garden

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Glenfinart Walled Garden welcomes Tullochan Futures Group

IMG_1271-3On one of the coldest days of spring, Glenfinart Walled Garden welcomed Steven Kenny from Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and a group of young adults and two of their trainers from Tullochan Futures.

Despite the snow and rain, the group potted on vegetable seedlings which they had grown. Later, they enjoyed soup made exclusively from produce from the garden’s polytunnel. There were also pancakes, biscuits and hot drinks on offer and a thank you gift of a strawberry plant to take home. 

Another group will visit in July but it is hoped that as many as possible from the April group can return to enjoy the garden in better weather and also check on the progress of their efforts. 

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Masterclass series concludes as Franziska moves on

Franziska discusses a point with some of the Masterclass participants

Franziska discusses a point with some of the Masterclass participants

On 17th April regular (and other) attendees of Glenfinart Walled Garden’s Masterclasses bade resident expert gardener and horticulturalist, Franziska Schmidt, a regrettable but very fond farewell.

The final class of the series covered medicinal and healing plants and, as ever, was expertly resourced and delivered. Content ranged from identifying a number of relevant plants to how to collect and prepare herbs for teas, poultices, infusions, balms, and tinctures and their potential uses and precautions.

The relaxed and friendly group participation has been a trademark of the series and it was with a degree of sadness that goodbyes were said and thanks expressed along with lots of good wishes to Franziska for her personal and professional future.

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Gardener’s Blether – new issue

The new issue of Gardener’s Blether, the newsletter of Glenfinart Walled Garden, can be downloaded here (PDF)

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Kids’ fun at Garden Opening

Sofia

Sofia plants her decorated egg plant

At what has become something of a tradition, Glenfinart Walled Garden held its spring opening in conjunction with Forestry Commission Scotland’s Easter Monday Eggstravaganza.

There was free entry to the garden and lots of fun activities for the children, e.g., mask painting; colour a bug glider, egg decoration; coconut shy; and plant a seed in the kids’ garden. As ever, the tea tent, with Ardentinny’s famous home baking, did a fine trade and a total of £437.92 was raised on the day, courtesy of generous donations of time, goodies and cash.

Glenfinart Walled Garden is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays 12.00 – 16.00 hrs and on the first Friday of the month 11.00 – 14.00 hrs. Visitors are also welcome any day the gate is open or, by appointment. All enquiries, requests to visit the Garden and offers of help can be made to Jean on 01369  810075 or Anna on 01369 810238.

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Glenfinart Walled Garden and Tesco’s Bags of Help

UntitledGlenfinart Walled Garden has been chosen to receive a grant from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme. These funds will be used to improve access to the garden and provide disabled parking.

Tesco has teamed up with greenspace scotland to launch its Bags of Help initiative across Scotland. The scheme will see three community groups and projects awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the five pence charge levied on single-use carrier bags.

The public will now vote in store from 27 February until 6 March on who should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards.

Voting in this region will take place in Tesco’s Helensburgh Store.

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Gardener’s Blether – January 2015

January issue of Gardener’s Blether, the newsletter of Glenfinart Walled Garden (PDF).

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Gardener’s Blether – October 2015

2015-11-14_18-26-50October issue of Gardener’s Blether, the newsletter of Glenfinart Walled Garden (PDF).

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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.

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