Rachel Bailey Garden Design
Today, the sun was shining on James Street park - literally and metaphorically. I had a fantastic time talking with local residents of all ages about the vision for James Street Community Garden. I was working alongside the community group who want to see the park used and several council members and councillors at the consultation for the proposed design.
In case you could not make it today, the proposed design for the community garden is shown below. It aims to turn an under-used green space, which is pretty much an uninviting blank canvas into a garden where the community can enjoy quiet play within natural play areas to basking in the sun whilst hearing bees and other wildlife go about their daily business.
The community group had asked me to find an attractive and inspiring low maintenance solution for the park, one that would provide space for parents and children to enjoy and a place for retired people to relax. In particular, the community group asked for a wildlife garden and a natural play space for children.
According to a spokesperson for the community group "The design has met this brief and uses natural materials where possible (and practical), has provided a natural play space for imaginative play, and has creatively turned the wet area into a positive addition to the garden, rather than a negative."
From talking to many visitors to James Street park today, the positive feedback to the vision for the park was incredible with a number of local residents offering to get involved. This is wonderful news because the garden will need a strong community involvement to come to fruition. Efforts will be needed now to raise funds for the project and in the longer term to actively create and then maintain the garden (even a low maintenance garden needs some tender-loving-care).
I look forward to getting involved in making the garden come to life and to seeing it develop. I also look forward to gardening alongside members of the community.
So, in case you did not make it to the consultation, the masterplan and a full description of the design, which makes the most of the site and its conditions can be seen here: Masterplan for James Street Community Garden.
This garden is for the community, so please get involved and also send in your comments by completing the online questionnaire by 30 April 2016 at: http://www.helensburghcommunitycouncil.co.uk.
Rachel Bailey, a garden designer and gardener in Scotland.