Ardentinny Community Trust AGM

Ardentinny Community Trust held its AGM on 19 September 2017 which covered the year April 2016 – March 2017. Its reported activity concerned Glenfinart Walled Garden which is the Trust’s sole project.The Trust Chair reported as follows:

The garden opened for the season on Monday 28th as part of the Forestry Commission’s Easter Eggstravaganza.
The garden was open Saturdays and Sundays 12.00 – 4.00 p.m. and on the first Friday of each month 11.00 – 2.00 p.m. (when Ardentinny Village Hall had their ‘Soup n Sandwich’ event).
However visitors were welcome in the garden any day if the gate was open or by appointment.

In April Franziska decided to return to her home in Germany. She held very informative Masterclasses which were well attended and helped to raise the profile of the garden. She encouraged volunteers and generally improved the flower and vegetable areas. Franziska shared her knowledge with all through her Gardener’s Blether. Simon Richardson was appointed as the new Volunteers’ Coordinator/Gardener and began work in July.
In the interim months volunteers and Community Payback planted out the vegetables in the polytunnel and kept the garden ticking over.

Our thanks go to Friends of Benmore Gardens who once again donated plants left over from the Benmore Botanic Garden Open Day.

Corrie MacDonald from Dunoon Grammar School Learning Centre started work experience in September 2016 travelling to the garden with a support worker every Monday.

Joe Robinson started work experience in the garden in February 2017 for his UHI College Course.

Events:
The Big Picnic, with live music from the ‘Elderly Brothers’ attracted a lot of picnickers and despite the damp start was enjoyed by all.

During Cowal Open Studios, Anthea Gage exhibited in the shed and welcomed 145 visitors to her exhibition.

The Harvest Fair, our annual fundraising event attracted many visitors and raised £1100 some of which went towards a diesel generator. Thank you to all the people who helped to make it such a success – too numerous to mention!

There was a ‘Sparkle Bomb’ the Garden event. Locals and visitors brought Christmas decorations to sparkle the children’s area.

Fundraising and Outreach:
The Trust was awarded a Tesco Groundworks’ Grant to put in Disabled parking.

A grant, awarded by Cowal Health and Wellbeing Network in February, will assist with the transportation of volunteers to the garden.

Trustees attended the Community Partnership’s Annual BBQ in Ardentinny Village Hall and their EGM and workshops in The Three Villages Hall, Arrochar.

The Garden had a fundraising stall at Dunoon Dazzle.

The garden had a stall at the Jobs’ Fair in Dunoon Grammar

A powerpoint presentation about the garden and its history was delivered at one of the TSI meetings in Dunoon, at the first meeting of the DASH Recovery Cafe and at one of the Parkinsons’ and Carers’ Group meetings. Talks were again given at the Job Centre

Visitors:
The 500th visitor of the season signed the visitors’ book in September. This did not include the visitors who do not sign the book, regular, local visitors and the people who attended the Easter event, the Big Picnic and Cowal Open Studios.

Other groups who visited the garden were: Strone Primary, Dunoon Grammar School Learning Centre and Glasgow Art Students who were staying at the outdoor centre. Carers from ENABLE and ASSIST brought their clients to enjoy the space.

Neil Black and Eilidh McKerry from the National Park visited the garden on their annual grant monitoring visit. They were delighted with the progress of the garden.

Tamara Hedderwick from the Groundworks’ grant team visited the garden to take promotional photographs.

Volunteer and Community support:
National Park Rangers regularly visited and NP Volunteers attended our Action Days on the last Saturday of the month which was extended, in July, to include the second Sunday of the month.

Tullochan Futures Group visited the garden with Steven Kenny from the National Park

The Forestry Commission provided us with marquees for our events. The village hall lent us tables and chairs.

The EXP, Youth Group spent a MAD (Make A Difference) day during the summer holidays.

ISS Facility Services Landscaping, Cowal and Bute Team, led by Andy continued to support the garden by professionally strimming the’ tump’ round the sensory garden and cutting the grassy areas to ensure maximum growth.

Two young men from the HELP Project began working in the garden on Thursdays.

The Community Payback Teams continue to be a great asset to the garden.

Development:
The storage yard was completed by attaching a large net to telegraph poles to hide our store of resources. Climbing plants were be grown up the net to further hide them. The compost bins were extended.

The shed roof was covered by box profile to make it water tight and to help preserve it for the years to come. The gutters were renewed and we are, again able to gather and store rain water in the bowsers behind the shed. This has made the watering of the polytunnel much less labour intensive.

The improvement to the water supply was completed. Water butts situated in the polytunnel and at the ends of each planting area were fitted with individual taps connected to pipe from the main bowser.

A diesel generator was installed behind the main shed. There is now power in the shed and outdoor electric sockets for events.

Sam Campbell felled several trees to make way for the parking spaces outside the wall. The Road Upgrade and 2 Disabled Parking spaces as well as parking for a minibus and 1 car were completed by Ross Macarthur Contractors ltd with a grant from Tesco, Groundworks ‘Bags of Help and Argyll and Bute Council.

Our grateful thanks go to the many supporters of the garden project who give of their time and resources and of course to the visitors who come from far and wide.

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Glenfinart Walled Garden Harvest Fair 2017

In response to ‘the harvest’ Glenfinart Walled Garden’s Harvest Fair was held a little earlier this year. Despite a very wet growing season, there was still plenty of fresh organic veg on offer both in its raw state and also in wonderful vegetable soup, preserves and even courgette cake! The orchard offered up delicious pressed apple juice and the now famous Ardentinny home baking ensured a constant stream of customers at the tea tent.

The kids had lots of fun in their own garden space and there was a mini mall of craft and other stalls to tempt the visitor, including more garden produce in the shape of fresh flowers and plants.

Time flew as The Elderly Brothers, along with their young and older guest performers, entertained the crowds with lively song and and expert accompaniment, while everyone’s contribution raised the much appreciated sum of £1310.

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Facebook Live video on dodgy 3G..

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Glenfinart Walled Garden at Kirn Gala

The sun shone last Wednesday evening for the annual Kirn Gala. Glenfinart Walled Garden’s team of Lynn, David and Phyllis were in attendance selling the garden’s organic vegetables, herbs and beautiful bunches of freshly picked flowers. The event raised over £136.

Don’t forget the next big event at Glenfinart Walled Garden – The Harvest Fair on Sunday 17 September. More details soon!

 

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Bubbles and Bubbly at the Big Picnic

Sunday’s Big Picnic at Glenfinart Walled Garden was another resounding success.

What began as a one-off a couple of years ago, having proved so popular, Ardentinny Community Trust has since made it an annual event. This year the Trust provided a free bus from and back to Dunoon, picking up along the regular 489 route.

Families and groups of all ages came along with their picnics and enjoyed the additional goodies and refreshments on offer. Many sang along and danced to the live music, provided by The Elderly Brothers and their guest singers and the children found plenty to amuse them in the kids’ garden while the adults relaxed in the orchard and sensory garden.

Trust funds were augmented by donations at the plant and flower stall and Kilmun surgery hosted a stall which raised £100.This was part of a reciprocal arrangement whereby the Trust’s stall at the Riverbank Surgery’s Saturday event in the Uig Hall raised £140 for the Walled Garden.

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David with the Trust’s stall at the Uig Hall event on Saturday.

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Dementia Awareness Week Celebrations at Glenfinart Walled Garden

On Thursday 1st June the Cowal Befrienders’ Group visited the garden as part of the celebrations for Dementia Awareness Week. Over 25 members and volunteers attended and, despite the rain, a lovely afternoon was had by all. So much so, that they wish to make a return visit and encourage other family members to become involved.

There were lots of activities that everyone enjoyed, including planting of lavender bushes, with tied and named purple ribbons to mark Dementia Awareness and GO Purple, and a lively ‘sing along’ started by Beth, who was quite a well known singer, having connections to the young BeeGees! This, of course, was accompanied by copious amounts of tea and delicious cakes! News of the visit travelled fast, even as far as the Alzheimer Conference Scotland in Edinburgh.

This visit was the first to showcase the garden’s newly levelled easy access road, with parking for the less able. These works were only made possible by grants from Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ and Argyll and Bute Council, for which we are very grateful. The trustees and volunteers of Glenfinart Walled Garden are proud of the fact that the garden is now truly accessible to all.

Our beautiful sensory garden, tranquil orchard, poly-tunnel nursery, children’s garden and vegetable garden provide the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon!

We are officially open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm to 4.30pm….. but if the gate is open you are most welcome!

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Beechgrove Event and Open Garden 23rd – 25th June

Ardentinny Community Trust is pleased to present a wonderful range of weekend events for fans of both the BBC’s long running ‘Beechgrove Programmme’, Ardentinny Walled Garden and Andy McClintock’s amazing garden in Strone.

Events commence on Friday 23rd June, at Younger Memorial Hall at Kilmun, open 7p.m. for 7.30pm, with a showing of the BBC’s Beechgrove Garden programme featuring the creation of the Sensory Garden in 2013 and selected gardens in Ardentinny and along the Shore.

This is followed by a light buffet, raffle and music. There will be a bar throughout.

This great night out has a nominal fee of only £5, tickets are available now from Ardentinny Walled Garden, at the Blairmore Hub on 15th June, or on the night.
Proceeds will benefit the Ardentinny Walled Garden, the Younger Memorial Hall and Ardentinny Bowling Club, who are providing the bar.

Our events continue, with the Walled Garden being open as usual on Saturday and Sunday 24th and 25th from 1.00pm until 4.30pm. Come along and see how our Sensory Garden has grown and matured, since planting commenced in 2013. Bring a picnic and relax in the peaceful surroundings or take away some of the lovely home grown plants, in exchange for a donation. Entrance is Free.

Our final event of the weekend is the kind offering from Andy McClintock to open his beautiful and magical garden on Sunday 25th June, from 1.00pm to 4.30pm at Strone.
for a donation the Walled Garden.

We hope to see you there!

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Easter Fun Day 2017

Despite gloomy conditions, Ardentinny Community Trust’s first Easter Fun Day at Glenfinart Walled Garden was a great success with lots to do including an Easter egg hunt, egg painting, Easter bonnet parade, egg and spoon race, flower pot ping-pong, coconut shy and as usual a superb selection of home baking.

Not to be left out on the fun, the mums and dads had their own hilarious egg and spoon races (see videos below).

The Easter Bonnet parade was judged by a local journalist with Kaitlin Woodside’s creation being declared the winner.

Sculptor Andy McClintock was demonstrating his unique art and also had on display exotic sculptures created by school children.

Thanks to everyone who came along on the day and helped make the event such a success and especially our wonderful bakers!  The Trust would also like to thank all the local companies who contributed to the Easter hamper raffle prize.

Kaitlin Woodside winner of the Easter Bonnets competition

 

A superb selection of home-baking was on sale including empire biscuits to die for!

On the coconut shy

 

Getting ready for the egg and spoon race

Medals all round

The ladies prepare for the egg race

… and the winner is..

Live promotion of the excellent fare on offer

Sculptor Andy McLintock demonstrates his art with young assistant

A young visitor gets some useful advice from Gardener Simon

“All my own work”. Sofia displays her egg art.

The Easter Bonnets were out in force


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Community Trust Newsletter March 2017

Read the latest Ardentinny Community Trust Newsletter here (PDF)

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Garden dazzles in Dunoon

img_0128-2As has become customary, Glenfinart Walled Garden took a stall at the annual Dunoon Dazzle event again this year. There was marmalade, pickles, chutneys, home baking and knitting on sale together with a busy raffle. Just over £350 was raised so a big thank you to all the volunteers who contributed to this.

Anna Williamson.

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