Green for go outside
HOPE 2 OBAN held its first Green Shoots open day of the season on Saturday at Glencruitten House’s walled garden.
The Green Shoots project, which started in 2014 near Oban, ‘provides a space for all to develop skills and experience the many benefits associated with being outside, meeting people, growing fruit and vegetables, and eating locally grown, healthy produce’, its website explains.
Green Shoots co-ordinator Catriona Petit, who runs the project with her husband John, said: ‘We help people who have special needs or who are in periods of unemployment. We have activity agreements for people who leave school as a way into further work or training.
‘It is based on what people want to do. During the week we make tables and benches out of wood from the woodlands, build pathways, they can grow their own vegetables – it’s really different every day of the week. Any community groups can come up for a plot.’
Visitors are invited to an open garden day once a month from April to September, and another at Christmas. Last Saturday children – and adults – got busy putting strawberry plants in old welly boots, following a hungry caterpillar trail, and enjoying homemade cakes, jam and vegetable soup from the garden.
Previously Oban High School children and volunteers from the Lorne Resource Centre had built a sculpture in front of a new ‘herb spiral’ made of slate, and elsewhere in the garden were a wormery and composting toilet.
Green Shoots recently received £12,000 from Tesco’s Bags for Life campaign to add another poly tunnel and improve disabled access. The website invites: ‘It is a garden for all so if you have ideas or would like to use the garden then please get in touch. The future of the garden is immensely exciting.’
Maisie Edwards, front, and Arran MacGregor planted strawberries, helped by Catriona Petit.
Joanne Watson and her one-year- old niece Ruby Bullock.
Catriona Petit with Ceitidh Garvin, nine, decorating slates.
Ros McFarlane, left, with Anna Ainscough and sons Wesley, one, and Finlay, four.
A colourful brick and boot sculpture with the new slate ‘herb spiral’ behind.