Ardentinny residents and visitors warmly welcomed a team from Beechgrove Garden on Wednesday, 6 March. The Glenfinart Walled Garden’s application for inclusion in this year’s Beechgrove programming had been shortlisted and the programme’s producer, their garden designer and a researcher came along to give a small presentation on what could be expected, if our garden was selected, and to meet local people and visit the garden itself.
Producer Gwyneth Hardy began by introducing her colleagues, Landscape Designer, Lynn Harris and Researcher, Stacey Shear. She then went on to explain what the Beechgrove Garden Community Garden initiative would bring to the Glenfinart Walled Garden project, should it be chosen as one of the three community gardens to be featured from a shortlist of 12.
This year, for the first time, Beechgrove will go out UK wide. There will be a Thursday night showing in Scotland only, to be repeated on Sunday afternoons in Scotland and broadcast to the rest of the UK. This should provide even greater exposure for the chosen projects and their locations.
Gwyneth explained that Beechgrove does not do all the work. Instead it acts as an enabler, a catalyst, providing projects with a kick start and a helping hand. The first of these is a deadline. Whatever the agreed plan, it will need to be completed by the end of July, August, or September, depending on which programme deadline is agreed for each garden.
The second, and probably the most important source of assistance, is the guidance and expertise of Beechgrove’s Landscape designer Lynn Harris. Rather than impose her ideas, she would work together with the community in drawing up a realistic plan for a particular phase of the garden, along with a planting plan and construction plan. She would also help in sourcing materials and would manage the project off-site with regular visits at crucial stages.
Finally, in addition to completing a worthwhile gardening project for and by the community, the surrounding area would benefit enormously from having a whole programme focussing on its horticulture and beautiful gardens.
After questions, everyone visited the garden where they were able to chat about the project on site. Thereafter, it was back to the village hall, for tea and a mountain of home baking. While we’ve been told that the competition is fierce and the odds are 3:1, there is a group of very enthusiastic and optimistic folks in Cowal hopeful that Ardentinny’s Glenfinart Walled Garden will be one of the Beechgrove community gardens featured this year.
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