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.
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.
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
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.