Community garden blossoms at Riverview

May 4, 2022 | News | 0 comments

A project to create a community garden at Riverview Country Park is starting to blossom.

From left: Mike and Janet Reid, Fiona Graham, Tracy Jones, Sheila Acford, Tom Patterson and Bill Gray

A core group of seven residents have been working tirelessly to get the development off the ground and the initiative is already creating benefits out with the production of crops.

The project began towards the end of winter with Park manager, Mendes clearing scrub land for the residents in order for them to start planting. The land has been ‘gifted’ to the residents by the Park’s directors.

Since then, the garden project is blooming and already the team have planted broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, parsnips, lettuce at onions with more veg planned for the coming weeks.

Janet Reid who was appointed spokeswoman for the group said that the idea is evolving as it goes: “We had a loose plan to create a community garden and that was about it. We are allowing it to evolve and take shape as we go along, but it’s been wonderful working together. The idea kind of began in lockdown as many of us felt isolated and as we emerged from restrictions, we were looking at ways to get the Park’s residents together in a safe and positive way and it’s really worked. There are of course the benefits of growing your own, but what we have really loved is the coming together of similar minds and the ideas that are coming from everyone involved.”

Janet who has lived at Riverview Country Park with her husband Mike for four years added: “As well as the crops, we have other plans. We are aware for example, that there are residents who have mobility issues, so we are looking at getting raised beds installed and generally making the area more accessible.

“We also want to have a few beehives and who knows, if we can get permission, maybe a few chickens. The produce will be available to anyone living at Riverview. A shop has recently opened on the site, so who knows, if the production goes well, maybe we can sell via the new shop. This is not about making money, we just need to cover our costs. In fact, Green’s Nurseries just outside Nairn gave us £50 to spend with them to help us get going and Mackenzie & Cruickshank in Forres gave us a discount. There has been a lot of support.”

The group is also working on creating a Quiet Garden adjacent to the growing area, where residents can sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labour. It will be adorned with benches and tables and chairs which will be dotted in amongst fruit trees. One of the residents is going to create ‘fairy doors’ for the trees to add interest for children.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Janet, “but already, it has helped to bring the Riverview Country Park community together.”

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