GARDENS OF WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE
ACCESS : All the following gardens are accessible.
ALSO SEE THE SECTIONS ON NATURE INCLUDING FLOWERS, TREES ETC NEAR THE END. This includes a section on WILD GARDENS - those areas of natural vegetation that are not managed or discuplined, at least not directly. index.asp?pageid=732154
This section highlights the gardens within West Dunbartonshire. These are almost all within parks already covered elsewhere and cross links are provided. Gardens come in a variety of forms. Some are almost incidental. Some landscape highlights are very seasonal. Community Gardens, those that are run by local community members and encourage others to participate in their care and propagation, have a very important role. All are well worth looking out for.
Where these are also covered within sections elsewhere on this website, cross links are given.
Most "gardens" impress or depress according to the impression they give of care and love of plants or abandonment. Yet considered planting in advance of the changing seasons can be very impressive. Monty Don said in an article (BBC Gardners World Oct 2023) : A garden that does not have poetry or art at its centre is simply not a good garden. This does not mean that you need sculptures or engraved words around your garden, but considered juxtaposition of colours and textures and massing to create enjoyable transition of impressions as you pass through it.
We do daffodils very well. These Council maintained daffodils were photographed in early April. The backdrop is the West Kirk in West Bridgend. ///logs.words.shapes
Spring blossoms at St Andrews Church in Alexandria.[The church was demolished in late 2022]. ///husband.heaven.countries
BALLOCH PARK & WALLED GARDEN
The Walled Garden is but a small part of the vast park, but it is where you will find a lovely array of flowers and shrubs. It is a favourite of those in the know when the sun is out and so is the wind. The high stone walls over a great deal of protection.
But don't limit yourself to sitting about here, peaceful though it can be. There are great walks around the grounds.
The duck pond is a bonus.
The main planting is around the fountain and presents a great scene particularly in spring.
MILBURN GARDEN PARK, RENTON
This park was designed by Christopher Palmer Associates on behalf of the Cordale Housing Association and Vale of Leven Community Nursery project from 1997-2000.
It was intended as more than just a park; for use as an outdoor classroom by the local nursery, Primary and Secondary schools.
The design included a number of artistic features such as carved log benches and pebble paving. The Milburn Burn runs through it. This area of Renton alongside the modern housing of the Cordale area is attractive and in some ways innovative and this was intended to complement it. High ideals were somewhat marred by a period of gross misuse and resultant damage, but with time, the environment has matured and is now again attractive.
A cluster of "standing stones".
ROBIN HOUSE GARDEN
This excellent garden is within the grounds of Robin House hospice and there has limited public access, but watch out for their open days.
BONHILL COMMUNITY GARDEN - Created for residents and volunteers, the space is located in Braehead, Bonhill, with the best views of any growing space in West Dunbartonshire. Looking on Loch Lomond and further to Ben Lomond, Residents and neighbours are rejuvenating a previous derelict site. They aim to target children and families, young people, the disabled, people who have become isolated through mental health issues and young people at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity. - https://www.mylearnandgrow.com/gardens/bonhill-community-gardens.html
Location - Braehead Bonhill
LOMOND COMMUNITY GARDENS AND ALLOTMENTS - It brings together, wellbeing, outdoor learning, community development, and enterprise in one place. Transforming school and community grounds into vibrant growing spaces that inspire children and families to grow and eat healthy food.
Location - Lomond Parish Church, 1 Lomond Rd, Balloch, Alexandria G83 8RJ
RENTON COMMUNITY GARDEN - Coordinated by the Cordale Housing Association
Location - Glen View, Renton, G82 4DB
This view from the Main Street tenements was taken in January 2022. The entrance gateway with cars to the right is off Glen View.
May 2022 and the garden is looking very promising.
KNOWETOP - Run by Alternatives - Alternatives Community-based drug recovery project. Step-by-step, we help people to find their own path towards a fulfilling lifestyle. (alternativeswd.org) Knowetop used to be a small farm where children could interact with animals. It has been set up as a community project in 1981. After years of struggling financially (it was dependent on domations), it closed in 2011 and the structures were cleared away. Attempts were made to reestatblish it. This eventually happened - only to be severely interrupted by the panedemic and new financial challenges.
But it is now open. Progress is slow - but ambitious. What you can see now is very limited, but includes a small entrance garden and a fenced off orchard and vegetable patch. Wild flowers and trees run rampant across the rest of the site.
You are welcome to visit and walk around this garden. You will be even more welcome if you volunteer to lend a hand. Gardening is very rewarding!
Contact - firstname.lastname@example.org
Location - Castlehill Road, Castlehill, Dumbarton, G82 5AT
The small entrance garden - summer 2022.
Some wild and introduced flowers simply doing their own thing.
The orchard and vegetable garden are slowly taking shape - summer 2022.
BELLSMYRE COMMUNITY GARDEN - Founded in 2010 by local residents, Bellsmyre Community Gardens is a substantial community resource providing up to 67 raised beds. The spectacular greenery throughout the Whiteford Avenue plot is a far cry from the derelict space which was once in its place. In 2014, the project was going strong with 40 members giving up their time to bring the garden to life. https://www.mylearnandgrow.com/gardens/bellsmyre-community-gardens.html
Location - Whiteford Avenue, Bellsmyre, Dumbarton G82 3JN
BOWLING COMMUNITY GARDEN - For a number of years, Scott Avenue residents have been developing and maintaining a small area adjacent to the disused Bowling Railway viaduct in West Dunbartonshire. Once complete, the landscaped area will serve as a communal amenity for use by residents and visitors. Due attention has been given to the garden’s proximity to the Sustrans cycle pathway, the local village hall as well as the historical heritage and situation of the disused Bowling upper station. Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/groups/449934915437736
Location - Scott Avenue, Bowling, G60 5BA
FAIFLEY COMMUNITY ALLOTTMENTS SOCIETY - A non-profit community run project bringing grow your own to the community. https://www.mylearnandgrow.com/gardens/faifley-community-allotment-society.html
Location - Skypoint, Lennox Drive, Faifley, Clydebank, G81 5JY
Location - 89 Beardmore Place, Clydebank, G81 4HU
WEST BRIDGEND COMMUNITY GARDEN
Contact - Mylene Colquhoun - email@example.com https://www.mylearnandgrow.com/schools/westbridgendcommunitygardens/our-growing-diary.html and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/westbridgendcommunitygardenproject/videos/341324970552153/
Location - West Bridgend, Dumbarton, G82 4AH
An inspiring and unifying component amongst these community gardens is the Leamy Foundation. While its remit is very much wider, community gardens are a major means of realising their objectives. As they say:
Our vision is to create confident and connected communities and people through the power of our wonderful outdoors and community green spaces. Inspiring people to make positive changes in their lives and communities.
At The Leamy Foundation we have one overriding truth – that people have the power to create places they are proud of with futures full of hope, where anyone can be involved.
Our primary aim is to provide advice and encouragement to people wishing to establish a community garden or food growing activity small or large, or who wish to use our communities green space as sources of positive activities for all our residents.
We are now a collection of up to 45 groups including nurseries, schools, community groups working together to spread the message and share the benefits of local grown food. Since 2016, Growing West Dunbartonshire holds monthly meetings providing residents and groups with support and advice…and the opportunity for a catch up over a tea or coffee.
To find out more, have a look at their website. https://www.theleamyfoundation.com/