Glenfinart Walled Garden: Presentation of proposals to further develop garden

GOPR1010-5-1Over the past few months Ardentinny Community Trust has been working on plans to transform Glenfinart Walled Garden into a venue that can be used by all members of the community as well as attracting tourists to the area thereby enhancing the tourism offer on the Cowal Peninsula.

The appointed independent consultants (the Venturei Network) assigned to assist the Trust in this process have produced a report setting out how the Walled Garden will be developed over the medium to long term.

The Ardentinny Community Trust believes community groups and organisations in addition to tourist, recreational, hospitality and educational providers across the Cowal Peninsula should be involved in the project to ensure the long term sustainability of both the Garden and the Region. Therefore the Venturei Network is holding an event which will present the outputs of the report and provide an opportunity for connections to be made between the Trust and these organisations to move the project forward.

This event will take place in:

The Younger Hall, Kilmun on Wednesday 4th February 2015  between 7pm – 9pm.

All community groups and organisations as well as tourist, recreational, hospitality and educational providers on the Cowal Peninsula are encouraged to attend this event

For further information on this event please contact Venturei Network on 02887769007. To register your attendance at the event contact Bridie Comac at Venturei Network or email


Walled Garden season culminates with Harvest Fair

Glenfinart Walled Garden’s open season culminated in a successful Harvest Fair on Saturday. Despite an overcast start, the weather was kind and a piper opened proceedings which heralded in a steady stream of visitors throughout the day.

Over and above the impressive garden setting, there was much on offer. The Food Tasting marquee provided delicious vegetable soup and curries made from the walled garden’s organic produce; there was apple pressing and fresh juice from the orchard; and the ubiquitous Tea Tent was a constant hub of activity with its impressive home baking and irresistible Tombola.

Bill Tierney and friends provided fantastic live music throughout the afternoon and the kids were kept entertained in the story-telling tent; mask-making in the hut; delving into the Lucky Dip; and wish-making for the Wishing Tree. Add to that (foam rubber) fencing; archery; and the opportunity to glaze and fire your own pot with the garden’s resident ceramicist, it was little wonder most visitors spent several hours enjoying the event.

Ardentinny Community Trust is indebted to all who helped make the day the success it was.

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Gifted garden sculptured seat

Ardentinny residents Irene and Stan Share recently enjoyed a small celebration beside the bespoke, carved, oak seat which they had generously commissioned and donated to Glenfinart walled garden.

Stan and Irene on the bespoke oak seat.

Stan and Irene on the bespoke oak seat.

The seat, which was designed and carved by local wood carver Guy Elder, is a work of art which slopes and weaves round the old beech tree at the entrance to the garden. Irene described how the design had evolved as she liaised closely with Guy on the project and both she and Stan very much like the end result, as will anyone who views and uses it.


Ardentinny Community Trust toast Irene and Stan.

A detail of the unique sculptured seat.

A detail of the unique sculptured seat.


Walled Garden featured in Gardens Illustrated


Glenfinart Walled Garden features in the current (August 2014) issue of Gardens Illustrated. The article entitled “The Fall & Rise of the Walled Kitchen Garden” focusses on how once magnificent walled gardens are now finding a new and productive lease of life.

The community enterprise aspect of the garden is highlighted in the the article. “..There is no more inspiring tale than Glenfinart, near loch Lomond, where a community has come together to secure a garden for its own use.

Abandoned in the 1920’s, and turned over to the Forestry Commission, a crumbling enclosure with a distinctive curved wall was more or less all that remained of the grand residence of the local Laird.

A band of volunteers is steadily creating a growing space, recreational garden and social hub for the folk of Ardentinny, who can also attend gardening classes”

Very well done to everyone involved in the project.


Walled Garden patron Sophie is Celebrity MasterChef

Finalists Charley Boorman & Jodie Kidd with Sophie Thompson

Finalists Charley Boorman & Jodie Kidd with Sophie Thompson

Beating 20 celebrity contestants for the Celebrity MasterChef trophy, Glenfinart Walled Garden patron, Sophie Thompson triumphed in the gruelling 6-week BBC contest.

Judge John Torode praised Sophie’s culinary creations for being “Original, exciting and daring”. Fellow judge Gregg Wallace said “Sophie’s food is very much like her, it’s original, it’s individual, it has a style, it’s different. She creates some absolute delights on a plate, they look like little stories to me; they just look amazing.”.

Sophie beat off other finalists Charley Boorman and Jodie Kidd.

"Original, individual and with style" - One of Sophie's MasterChef dishes

“Original, individual and with style” – One of Sophie’s MasterChef dishes

Celebrity MasterChef is available on the BBC iPlayer until 25 July.


Busy week for Walled Garden team

Glenfinart Walled Garden was host to Loch Lomond & The Trossachs Community Partnership last Thursday when its new Directors and Staff enjoyed a familiarisation visit to this Ardentinny, community-based project. Their visit comprised a guided tour, some welcome tea and home baking and the all-important expansion of the garden’s & Partnership’s ‘network’.

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Walled Garden produce on sale at Blairmore market.

Lynn at the Burgh Hall event.

Lynn at the Burgh Hall event.

On Saturday members of the Trust manned the Glenfinart Walled Garden stall at neighbouring Blairmore Village’s Local Produce Market. Sale of the garden’s produce netted £115.50 in addition to much-appreciated donations. At the same time, Trust Secretary, Lynn Kerr represented the garden at Dunoon Burgh Hall’s Community Fair. Another excellent networking event!

Glenfinart Walled Garden is open daily from 12-4 p.m. Admission is free and all are welcome.


Volunteers triumph over midge invasion

It was a case of fighting off the midges at Saturday’s Volunteer Drop-in event at Glenfinart Walled Garden. Fortunately the volunteers from Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, as well as those from the community, came well prepared with midge nets, ample supplies of Skin So Soft and other magic potions to keep the midges at bay.

After making an excellent job of weeding the central ‘tump’ area, the group were able to pick the brains of resident green-fingered maestro Glyn Toplis during his monthly masterclass. This month’s topic was ‘Summer Flowering Plants’. To round off the day, Ardentinny Community Trust provided the usual excellent home baking and refreshments for the volunteers.

Next month’s Volunteer and Training Day is on July 12. Glyn’s masterclass is on ‘Understanding Plant Names’ and begins at 2pm (garden open from 11am).

Glenfinart Walled Garden is open 7 days a week from 12.00 – 16.00hrs. Admission is free. The garden also now has plants and vegetables  for sale. For more information contact Jimmy Gordon on 01369 810170 or Lynn Kerr on 01369 810275 or email 

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Glenfinart Walled Garden Newsletter #9 May 2014

Glenfinart Walled Garden Newsletter #9 May 2014 (PDF)


Amy gets the weeds under control


Young Amy Torbet was recently presented with a training certificate for her participation in the “Weeds and Weed Control” Masterclass at Glenfinart Walled Garden by resident gardener Glyn Toplis. Green-fingered Amy is the daughter of popular Dunoon Community Radio presenter Sarah Torbet.

The next Masterclass topic is “Summer Flowering Plants” and takes place during the Volunteer, Training and Drop-in day at the garden on Saturday 14 June at 2pm. The garden will be open from 11am – 4pm. The Masterclasses are free.

Glenfinart Walled Garden is open every day of the week from noon until 4pm. Entry is free. For directions simply follow the green signs when entering Ardentinny.


Winning over the weed…


Last weekend a group of Cowal gardeners was treated to a horticultural masterclass courtesy of Glenfinart Walled Garden’s resident gardener, Glyn Toplis. The hands-on classes are part of the garden’s ‘drop-in’ days organised by Ardentinny Community Trust to encourage Cowal residents and visitors to participate in its community garden.

Glyn, with his extensive horticultural experience of some 30 years, offered a very useful and entertaining insight into the world of weeds and their control. Walking around the garden, Glyn provided the group with tips on the best ways of eradicating specific weeds whilst considering both the weed above ground and the root system below. He also illustrated how certain plants can be weakened by the weed.

Asked about the composting of weeds, Glyn gave an outline as to which could be composted successfully. He also showed the group samples of plants in and around the walled garden which would have originally been ornamental plants, but now, due to their wild profusion, have become a garden nuisance.

The theme of the next Masterclass at the Walled Garden is ‘Summer Flowering Plants’ on Saturday 14 June at 2pm. Entry is free and everyone is welcome.

Glenfinart Walled Garden is open daily noon until 4pm. Visitors and volunteers are most welcome. Entry is free. Location map here.

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