A charity metal detecting dig was organised recently on Sunday 17 September 2017, to help raise money through donations for the Ninewells Community Garden by volunteer David Drummond, with permission kindly given by farmer Michael Arbuckle to use a couple of large stubble fields for a day’s metal detecting to take place on.
This was achieved just outside Dundee at the Star Inn fruit farm.
Fifty metal detectorists came along on the day and right from the off finds came to light through the searching of the fields – the fields were situated near the site of an ancient Roman Camp at Invergowrie and there had been an abundance of later histories in the area that included the tales of Highwaymen who would hold up stagecoaches from woods that once stood near the fields.
Finds on the day included a Gold Sovereign dated 1861, loads of other coins and tokens dating back to the 1700’s, lead flax seals from the time when Jute was King in Dundee, and buttons and military badges, among notable finds was an old Dundee Police Button and a Dundee Farthing Token from 1798.
A large bronze bell that might date back to medieval times called a Crotal Bell and giant lead weights one of which might be Roman.
The whole day was a terrific success and everyone attending thoroughly enjoyed themselves, there was teas and coffees and biscuits provided by the Ninewells Community Garden that went down a treat with the detectorists and being manned by Trustee Rodney Mountain but in between time he also managed to have ago metal detecting himself with his daughter for the very first time and were rewarded in finding their first old penny.
Donations given by the metal detectorists attending amounted to £406.82 for Ninewells Community Garden and its safe to say the folks at the garden are quite delighted with this.
And there will be another Dig scheduled to happen again next year.
It’s our annual open day next Sunday! We’ll have lots of activities for all the family, including drawing competition, metal detecting, herbal activities and yoga as well as our usual plant and produce sale and home baking.
Parking will be at the Mackenzie building (just up from Maggie’s on Tom MacDonald Ave), disabled parking at Maggie’s.
Diabetes Out There (DOT) is a specialist service for children and young people with type 1 diabetes. They are trialling an innovative new monthly garden clinic, and last month saw the inaugural workshop. The children engaged in activities focused around the effects of exercise on blood glucose, and planted up a fabulous spiral garden of sunflowers, strawberries and vegetables – yum!
The DOT.dig project has been developed in response to poor attendance at the quarterly clinics for children and young people with type 1 diabetes.
From Nicholas Conway, consultant paediatrician “Levels of blood glucose control in Tayside are poor and these young people are placed at significantly increased risk of the complications above. With this in mind, DOT Tayside have undertaken a number of initiatives in an attempt to increase patient engagement; improve knowledge and understanding; and, ultimately, to improve glucose control.
The DOT team have run a variety of workshops and events aimed at young people and their parents over recent years, where clinics have been delivered in alternative settings, including a local community centre. The DOT.dig concept was therefore informed by these experiences, whereby a small group of children were invited to attend a workshop held within the community garden, as an alternative to attending a traditional face-to-face clinic appointment.
All of those who attended on the day (including staff) enjoyed the event. All of the attendees were keen to attend future events and so will be reappointed to attend a DOT.dig workshop in 3 months. In the interim, additional dates and groups of children will be identified, with the aim to establish a monthly DOT.dig workshop in the near future.”
We had a great session last week where we were exploring possible future directions for the garden – as well as looking at the obstacles we face.
There were no shortage of ideas! Everyone had the chance to suggest new activities or features, which we grouped into different themes (see below). We then spent some time with the 3 themes which had the most interest, working in groups to understand how they might be progressed (underlined themes). If you are interested in getting involved with any of the ideas, or have an idea or comment of your own, please do get in touch.
After the workshop we awarded the first batch of our volunteer certificates – volunteer time amounted to around 2500 hours last year! The garden wouldn’t exist without our wonderful volunteers – everything from planning to sowing; polytunnel building to bird feeding… This time, effort and creativity enables so many people to enjoy the garden when they visit – so thank you.
Water: wildlife pond, water fountain, wishing well
Communication: website, research into benefits of therapeutic gardening
Themed gardens: Japanese, continents garden, desert garden
Wildlife: bird hide, wildlife pond, more bee habitats (honey and bumble), animal corner
Garden features: pizza oven, time capsule, weather station, barbecue area, bike rack, low maze
Garden development: pear trees, snowdrops, expanding the garden, another polytunnel, own plots, more summer fruit
Skills and activities: more teaching sessions, bread making, preserves, beginners lessons in gardening, kite making, tai chi and yoga, photography club, cups of tea for visitors, cooking skills
Sales / enterprise: more veg for sale, shop for produce and crafts, growing food for hospital, create a cookbook, herbal calendar
People: more patients to visit the garden, day trips for volunteers, corporate volunteering for big jobs
Access: From hospital – no proper door or path, lack of signage, car parking, better awareness
Funding: sustainability, secure future
Facilities: lack of toilet, water and electricity
Health and safety: security, hygiene, safety, steps to leaf room, better wheelchair paths
Capacity: more volunteers, staff, more space for new features
When I was admitted to Ninewells Hospital last October I was fortunate enough to be given a bed beside a window with a magnificent view – not only overlooking a wide silvery stretch of the Tay estuary but also some acres of mature woodland and an intriguing-looking garden. “Designed by the Beechgrove Garden team,” I was told by one of the nurses. As an ambulant patient I was allowed out once the day’s treatment was complete, and, rather like Alice in Wonderland, how to get into the garden became my ambition. I lost no time in heading for the garden, where I was told that anyone who wished to could lend a hand. And so I was introduced to Sarah and volunteered for gardening duties.
Being in hospital is a strange experience, so unlike one’s normal everyday life as to seem almost divorced from reality. The privilege of being able to do everyday jobs like weeding, dead-heading, sweeping leaves, cutting back plants for their long winter hibernation, really helped to keep me sane! Even getting one’s hands dirty was a pleasure, as a break from the super-sterilised life on the ward. “Next time I’m admitted to Ninewells I’ll be sure to bring my wellies with me,” I joked. The Community Garden, with its wide range of herbs, flowers, fruit bushes and vegetables, is a marvellous place in which to be and I spent as much time there as I could and also enjoyed daily walks in The Arboretum. Although I had to laugh on the day when I’d escaped to the garden both in the morning and the afternoon and a nurse came by my bed in the evening to give me an injection, “To stop blood-clotting, because you’ve been lying in bed all day.”
By the way, all you fellow gardeners, with the support of the Clan Menzies I’m currently raising funds to restore the sadly neglected grave in a London cemetery of Archibald Menzies, one of the great 18th century Scottish plant collectors. Think Monkey-puzzle tree, Noble and Douglas firs, Sitka spruce, Western Red Cedar – we owe not only these economically valuable trees but also the astonishing number of more than one hundred flowering garden plants to the efforts of that globe-trotting Scotsman. He deserves to be suitably commemorated. Please take a look at the clan website http://www.menzies.org/ and if you’d like to send a donation you can press the Donate button and send an email to the clan treasurer [address beside the button] making clear that your donation is for the Archibald Menzies Memorial Fund, or send a cheque to The Treasurer, The Clan Menzies Society. Castle Menzies, Weem, Aberfeldy, PH15 2LL.