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

  
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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.

Click image to enlarge

 

 

  
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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. 

  
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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.

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Kira and Angus check out the kids garden.

  
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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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National Park Volunteers’ second Action Day at Glenfinart Walled Garden

Despite the damp and stormy weather, 4 volunteers from the National Park worked tirelessly at Glenfinart Walled Garden during their second Action Day on Saturday 28th March.

Irene and Jackie, seasoned volunteers, along with Clare and Fred, worked alongside Trustees Lynn, Linda and Anna. Young Sophia was a great help digging and collecting the weeds in the wheel barrow and, as always, everyone was treated to home baking with an additional welcome mug of soup provided by Anna.

Lynn Kerr

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Glenfinart Walled Garden secures renewed funding

P1160178-1Ardentiny Community Trust (ACT) has been granted renewed funding from The Robertson Trust for Glenfinart Walled Garden’s Gardener/Volunteers’ Supervisor post, which is currently being advertised.

ACT Treasurer, Dennis Gower said “We look forward to building on the excellent work done by Glyn Toplis which has given us a strong foundation for the future with our sensory garden, orchard and vegetable plots. An important part of the job is the work with volunteers and the training programme which Glyn began.”  Full information on the post is available on request by contacting Lynn on 01369 810275 or lkerr172@btinternet.com

Anyone interested in the garden is welcome to come along to its Action Days every Thursday and last Saturday of the month 11.a.m.- 3.p.m. and it will again be participating in the Forestry Commission Scotland’s Easter Eggstravaganza on 6th April, providing a great day out for all the family.

  
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Gardener/Volunteer Supervisor required for Glenfinart Walled Garden Project

P1010082-1-2Gardener/Volunteer Supervisor required for Glenfinart Walled Garden Project from April 2015

Part time post for this year.

Full information on request

Contact Lynn on 810275 or lkerr172@btinternet.com

Applications with CV by 6th March.

  
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Historic Kilmun and Walled Garden collaborate

Historic Kilmun and Glenfinart Walled Garden collaborated recently by sharing Dunoon premises over a two-day period.  The Argyll Street shop, which was kindly offered by Tony Stonehouse, provided a venue to promote both projects and attract volunteers. Members of the public enjoyed teas and coffees and many expressed an interest in visiting both attractions.

Dennis Gower and Lynn Kerr of Ardentinny Community Trust with Moira Clinch and Iain MacNaughton of Historic Kilmun outside the Dunoon shop.

Dennis Gower and Lynn Kerr of Ardentinny Community Trust with Moira Clinch and Iain MacNaughton of Historic Kilmun outside the Dunoon shop.

  
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Glenfinart Garden orchard – Two years on

IMG_1177-2-1 On January 31st, two years to the day the new orchard was planted in Glenfinart Walled Garden, a group of volunteers gathered to learn some pruning skills and do a fruit tree health check.  The workshop was led by popular permaculturist, Ceci Alderton, from Strachur  who reassured us that all the young trees were doing well.   What could be a better way of spending a frosty, sunny day, with a birthday celebration for the treasurer of A.C.T. , and superb vegetable soup and sandwiches?

Most of the trees are adopted by local residents, including our enthusiastic and renowned patron, Sophie Thomson. However there are a few still to be claimed and anyone who would like to adopt a Red Devil,  an egremount russet, a Katy eating apple, an Invincible pear, an Arthur Turner cooking Apple or a Czar or Victoria Plum… please get in touch.  No work involved.. just a blessing.

Merle Ferguson. 

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Tree planting – January 2013.

  
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