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.
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
Tuesday 31st January 11am: planning a grass-free lawn. We are hoping to give our orchard area a makeover by planting a low maintenance herbal lawn under the trees. Come along to an initial meeting to find out more and share ideas for suitable plants – for more information http://www.grassfreelawns.co.uk/ All welcome, booking essential by emailing email@example.com
Sunday 12th February 10am-12pm: Bird Watching in the Garden. Join Brian, our resident bird watcher to observe our feathered garden visitors. Please wrap up warmly. You may like to bring a camera, binoculars and a flask of something warm to drink. All welcome, no booking required.
Thursday 16th February 2pm: Mosaic installation. Dundee Urban Orchard have given our mosaic it’s final touches. Come along to see it being installed and find out more about upcoming mosaic and craft sessions. All welcome, no booking required.
Thursday 23rd February 1-4pm: Co-design session and volunteer awards. We’ll be working together to develop a vision for the garden. How do we see the garden and charity develop? What are the opportunities and challenges? This workshop will take approximately 2 hours, after which we’ll have some refreshments and present our volunteers with their much deserved certificates! All welcome, no booking required, please bring food or drink to share if you are able.
Volunteer Day Saturday March 25th 10am-3pm. Seasonal gardening tasks AND learn how to dowse for water with David Drummond – lets find those 9 wells! All welcome; booking required if you would like to attend the dowsing workshop by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org