Volunteer Taster Session

Friday 1st June 10.30am-12pm and 1-2.30pm

Have you thought about volunteering, but never taken the first step? Are you interested in contributing to a therapeutic garden that promotes health? Would you like to learn about gardening, but don’t know where to start?

Come along to one of our taster sessions – chat to our volunteers, see the garden and get your hands dirty!  The sessions are relaxed and enjoyable – you can work at your own pace and learn new skills depending on your interests.  No experience is necessary – just an interest in the outdoors / gardening / wildlife.  Refreshments will be provided at the end of each session.

NCG photo collection1


My Place Award Winner 2018

Our Leaf Room has won the 2018 Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards!

The My Place Awards are a national celebration of good local design and conservation as nominated and evaluated by local people.  Their aim is to identify projects or buildings that have had a positive impact in a local neighbourhood and have delivered positive benefits to that community.  Gaby Laing, Heritage Officer at the Scottish Civic Trust said:
“The Leaf Room totally encapsulates what the My Place Awards are all about: a beautifully and sensitively designed asset loved and used by the community. Modest in its approach, the Leaf Room truly delivers far beyond its remit. In 2018, all eyes may be on Dundee for the opening of the new V&A, but the Leaf Room goes to show how much Dundee already has to be proud of in terms of civic pride and architecture.”

Congratulations to everyone involved, especially architect Jonathan Reeve (Voigt Partnership), builder Stewart Burness (S+R Developments) and The Dundee Civic Trust for nominating us.  The room was officially opened by Shona Robison in November 2017 and has become a real hub for our community – the volunteers, visitors, patients, staff, school groups and friends who meet, shelter, chat and drink lots of tea there!  The news comes in the same week that work begins to install the toilet, water and power, which will be up and running by the summer – watch this space for further news!

Our Garden Hero

This year the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens has been running a campaign called  ‘Local Heroes’ as part of their Growing Together (GT) project. The aim is to get more people actively supporting city farms, community gardens and other community growing projects by celebrating the work of unsung heroes volunteering or working in these projects.
The volunteers in the garden have voted and our Local Hero is Brian Matthews!  Brian is the longest running volunteer at Ninewells Community Garden, having been involved for around 5 years.  He is a popular presence in the garden, with time for everyone. No matter what the weather, Brian volunteers 3-4 times a week – feeding the birds, developing new areas of the garden and doing a lot of the dull, but important parts of gardening that make such a difference, but often go unnoticed. His humour, creativity and kindness are appreciated by all and he is a great inspiration and support to many of our group – it’s fair to say that the garden just would not be the same without him.
Thanks for all your hard work Brian – and here’s to the next 5 years!

Co-design workshop and volunteer awards

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

Meet our newest Trustee

img_4813“After volunteering at the garden for a time it seemed natural to get involved with the committee as a trustee when asked if I would be interested.  This was a new experience for me having never been a trustee before.  

I have been made to feel very welcome and have been picking up on the ins and outs as I go along, feeling confident that I can give my thoughts freely and offer my help to the work of the committee where I can.  I have assisted with the opening of the new Leaf Room at the garden, purchased furnishings, discussed the itinerary and the catering needs  – all of which was very interesting and exciting.  I have been learning new skills and building on my own existing knowledge which makes it an enjoyable and a worthwhile experience which I would recommend to anyone considering getting involved Laura Robertson

We are currently looking for new members of the board – for new members with skills and experience to contribute to the planning and strategic development of the garden as it develops and who have an understanding of the role or therapeutic and community gardens.  Time commitment is generally no more than 3 hours per week, with a monthly evening meeting in Dundee.

For a full role description or for more information please contact our garden facilitator at facilitator@ninewellsgarden.org.uk or call 0754 074 6075