The Historical Centre has made available to the Ross of Mull Community Garden a chunk of the land between the stream and the road as well as the patch to the side of the Centre building. Volunteers have been making steady progress all through the winter months despite restrictions due to COVID. Most weeks there have been two volunteering sessions led by an experienced gardener to which another 'household' can sign up. This has meant a minimum of two people at each session - a small group for sure, but everyone who has come has done some back breaking work and, as a result, much has changed.
All the scrub, willow and rhododendron have been cleared (roots and all) and much of the brush chipped for use as mulch on the paths. A willow layered hedge has been created along the bank of the burn and the start of a low wall in front, which will also double as a seating area. A collection of fruit trees have been planted along both sides of the entrance path along with a wind break of native hedging shrubs in one of the most exposed corners.
The garden was given a grant of just under £4000 from the Climate Challenge Asset Fund towards start-up costs and the first purchase was a delivery of timber for the raised beds. Already 10 raised beds (each about a metre square) have been built in the area beside the Centre. These will be available to the community to use a bit like mini-allotments. Work has also started on the bigger raised beds for the main garden area. The fire department donated their old (but fully functional) shed and it has been delivered to the garden, thanks to help from the tow truck from MacDougall's garage. We have started a crowd funder to raise funds for a polytunnel and also submitted applications for grants to pay a part time gardener.
Already groups from the local community are starting to make use of the garden. Emily, the local ranger, brings her after-school nature club down regularly and the children have helped with the tree planting and are enthusiastically creating a den in one corner of the garden with many of the willow and rhododendron branches. The local playgroup is also interested in holding meetings in the garden. As the development of the garden progresses we all hope that more and more people will find an excuse to drop by to see what is going on and discover ways in which they can become involved. If you would like to donate towards the polytunnel here is the link to the crowd funder: