Seed planted for community garden

The new Friends' Garden will join the pond as a Rouken Glen visitor attraction
The new Friends' Garden will join the pond as a Rouken Glen visitor attraction

PLANS to create an East Renfrewshire community garden for people with special needs are ready to grow.

The idea, courtesy of Friends of Rouken Glen Park (FORG), will come to fruition thanks to £50,000 out of the park’s recent Heritage Lottery Fund award, confirmed in July.

The funding body is supplying £2.15m to give the park a makeover, added to £1m pledged by East Renfrewshire council on submitting the application.

Community group Friends of Rouken Glen will use their portion of the cash boost to transform an area previously used as a training garden into “a landscape of sounds, scents and colour that will thrill the senses of visitors”.

Chairman Gerald Levin told The Extra: “Our aim is to create a unique community garden that can be enjoyed by everyone and we were delighted when this money was made available by East Ren council to assist in getting our project up and running.

“We have come up with some exciting ideas and are now in the process of getting landscape architecture specialists to prepare detailed designs based on our proposals”.

The plan includes specially designed paths for wheelchair and pram access surrounded by raised flowerbeds.

Other features are up for discussion, such as a wild flower meadow, fountains and wind-bells, as well as mosaic-tiled seating areas, bird baths and nesting boxes.

It is also hoped that the Friends’ Garden will host temporary art exhibitions for neighbouring artists – with ideas including East Ren’s own tribute to the US yarn-bombing craze, where trees and other natural objects are decorated with knitted adornments.

The project is supported by East Ren council, and environment convener Vincent Waters commented: “We’re delighted FORG are taking forward this exciting project.

“It will not only give the Friends the opportunity to design their own unique space in the park, but also provide them with a very visible presence, to help recruit new members and promote the work they are doing”.

Chair Gerald added: “There will be a lot of hard work involved in getting this garden up and running and and we will be looking for volunteers to come and join the Friends of Rouken Glen Park and get their hands dirty – I’m sure we can count on support from the community for such a good cause”.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact FORG secretary Steve Edwards on 618 7837, or steveedwards56@hotmail.com.