Screenshot of online workshop

Online Workshops

During the COVID-19 Coronavirus lockdown restrictions Ninewells Community Garden, PLANT in Tayport and Edible Campus St Andrews got together to produce online workshops to help people garden and grow at home.

The workshops are ongoing while the lockdown restrictions continue, see our facebook events page to book your free ticket to the next workshop.

Catchup with our Previous Online Workshops.

Did you miss our workshops? You can find the recordings online:

– Seed sowing indoors:

– Strathkinness gardens and sowing/planting dates:

– Online Gardening Q&A: Taking care of veg seedlings:

– Growing with what you’ve got:

– Growing Edible Perennials:

Nature Links

This blog is full of links to all sorts of information about Nature, why it’s good for us and where to see it virtually.

Importance of nature has been shown in studies over and over again, from reductions in hospital recovery times in wards overlooking greenspace, to improvements in self reported feelings of well being in people living on streets with trees. Our access to nature may be restricted just now, but we can still enjoy nature virtually. This article in The Conversation is about how we can still access and get the benefits from nature in the city, even in lockdown.

Who doesn’t love a Puffin? There are several PuffinCams set up that allow everyone to watch the puffins while they come back to land during their egg laying and chick rearing stage. Between March and July keep an eye on the puffins at Alderney

Wildlife Kate has lots of wildlife cameras and activities on this webpage allows you to experience the sounds of walking through the Caledonian pine woods in Summer, and those of a walk through the Floe Country in Spring, produced by Chris Watson, an acclaimed sound recordist.

Conservation International has a whole web page devoted to podcasts and and links to digital treks you can take from your couch.

If you want to see a red mason bee emerge from it’s cocoon and hear a little bit about their life cycle – here’s just the YouTube video for you by Brigit Strawbridge Howard

If you have a twitter account, there are some good hashtags to follow for plant pictures, including #WildFlowerHour, #GardensHour

@BSBIbotany is the account of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, a great one to follow to see what is flowering just now.

@kewgarden (The Kew Botanical gardens) and @TheBotanics (Edinburgh Botanic Gardens) also post plenty of plant pictures, often with a bit of information about the plants in their collection.

@ScotlandBDS is the Scottish branch of the British Dragonfly society

Hopefully these suggestions will provide something of interest, let us know if there any great Nature links you like that we can share in the next Nature blog.

Chilli seedlings

Grow at Home – Lots of links!

As more people are staying at home with the Coronavirus COVID19 lockdown and movement restrictions, the interest in growing at home has also increased. Here at Ninewells garden we’re even asking you lovely people to sow an extra seed or two for us so we can plant up the garden when we are able to restart our volunteering group sessions.

Luckily there are lots of resources out there to help everyone make a success of whatever growing they want to try, from a pot of herbs on a windowsill to turning your front garden into a veggie patch.

It’s also time to get inventive! Not everyone had the chance to stock up on gardening supplies before the garden centres and shops closed. All the online garden supply stores also seem to be having a lot more demand. So many of us will have to make do with what we’ve got.

Luckily our local DCC Community Allotment Officer, Kate Treharne, has started a Lockdown Gardening Channel on YouTube. It is absolutely fantastic! So far it includes videos on sprouting seeds and making compost as well as many more, take a look.

If you have a garden CASA (the Community Support group in St Andrews) have a nice webpage written up with ideas to grow at home .

If you are not sure when and how to start your seeds, the back of the packets have good information, but keep in mind that here in Scotland we can get colder nights for longer, and a lot of seedlings don’t like the cold. Charles Dowding’s sowing calendar guidelines are also great, but add a couple of extra weeks on to the dates to avoid the plants getting frosted. If you are interested Charles Dowding has made lots of videos about growing ‘No Dig’ to watch to learn more, or refer back to as a refresher.

Remember that it’s ok if you don’t get everything right, the plants will probably try to grow anyway. And if they don’t, take what you learn and try again.

As always you can ask your friendly garden facilitators, June and Helena for top tips, and gardening advice. An email, text, or facebook message will get through to us.

Happy Gardening!

Flower bed

Katherine Fay Allan’s ‘the rest of us, we just go gardening’ has headed off to Edinburgh to spend time on display at the Royal Scottish Academy during February 2020.

More information about the artist and the inspiration behind the piece here.

All photo credits and copyrights to Katherine Fay Allan

You can see the installation from the 15th of February to the 11th of March 2020 at the RSA, The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL

The performance that accompianies the work will take place in the installation on Monday, Thursday and Sunday at 1pm.

Katherine’s website is

Katherine’s Instagram is @katherinefayallan_ 


What’s a weed?

weed squares

If you visit the garden, one of the first things you will notice is our ‘wild meadow’ – which is a really polite way of describing the area around our fruit trees.  We sowed this section with a perennial wildflower mix in the autumn, but the weeds have dominated and as a result it now looks a bit messy.  On closer inspection though, there are at least 40 different species of plant which are providing a really valuable habitat for ladybirds – on a wee wander through the area I counted at least 15, including some that were getting quite amorous!  Also, as you may know, weeds are just plants that are growing in the wrong place, and many of the weeds in this area have herbal or edible properties.  In the long term, we would like to develop this area into one that doesn’t look quite so neglected – if you have any thoughts on this, please let us know in the comments.