I began Saturday morning in Oldmeldrum at the opening of the new community garden. The garden was conceived by local Rotarians as a project which would commemorate the 2005 centenary of Rotary, yet also enhance the town for visitor and resident alike.
A lot of work has gone into the garden, from securing the land as a gift from Meldrum Estates and Aberdeenshire Council, to getting the site surveyed by Meldrum resident Jim McColl of Beechgrove Garden fame, and having plans for the site drawn up. Through the clearing of the land, the planting, weeding, fundraising, securing of materials and sheer hard graft, it's a project which has brought together all sections of the community.
The name of the garden is taken from William Forsyth, who was born in the town in 1737. Forsyth was a botanist of considerable note, who worked in the Apothecaries Garden in Chelsea. He became Curator aged 34, and eventually Chief Superintendent of the royal gardens at Kensington and St James’s. He was also one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society.
The day itself was a bit breezy, but otherwise the weather held, giving us a fine clear day to appreciate what the garden has to offer. Here's some pictures which I snapped from the opening ceremony:
The ribbon being cut by Jim McColl:
The view from the garden towards Bennachie:
It's a lovely setting, and will be a tremendous asset for the town. I can't think of a better way to celebrate an organisation which puts the good of the community at the heart of all it does, and to commemorate one of Oldmeldrum's most famous sons. I'm sure it won't be my last visit to the garden.