The Beechgrove Garden asked me to design the Finzean school wood community garden.
The primary feature of the garden is a naturalistic path that allows good access into the garden.
Winding between trees and low mounds, it offers glimpses of what’s beyond, and encourages you to satisfy
your intrigue by taking you to the different areas of the garden. It leads to beautiful open views with
resting benches, a dark glade with oversized toadstools, stepping stone logs, a bird feeding area with
willow screen hide, a sensory plants area, a damp area complete with winding sleeper arched walk, and
there are picnic benches.
It also leads to the outdoor classroom henge (a circular area with a low mound around its circumference
to enclose the area and function as casual seating), where a symbolic Birse Oak in planted in the centre.
Materials for the fence, path and log benches have been obtained locally and old fence posts have been
recycled for path edging. To encourage a naturalistic look, there is a minimal amount of hard landscaping;
a beautiful dry-stane dyke around the lower parking area for example.
The bus shelter has been re-roofed, painted and now serves as an information point, housing information,
prepared by the school children, about the gardens wildlife and plants (and a shelter in bad weather!).
Bat and bird nesting boxes, log piles and a bird feeding area have been introduced to encourage more wild life.
The planting has been aimed at diversification. By planting a greater range of native (indigenous where possible)
trees, shrubs, wild grasses and wild flowers, it is hoped that a greater range of wildlife will live in, feed in
or frequent the garden. This will provide the local school children with an area for hands-on learning to study
the plants and wildlife.
Other members of the community now have an area for relaxation and can enjoy their beautiful surroundings.
The basic design drawing is shown below.