“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” : Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
In glorious sunshine Orkney Blide Trust revealed what they had been doing in Orkney’s Secret Creative Garden.
The doors opened to the public on Thursday 28th of June with a small ceremony led by Orkney Islands Convener Harvey Johnston and Chair of Orkney Blide Trust, Moira Gordon.
The walled garden is situated at the back of the KGS hostel. The wall itself is a ‘listed’ structure. For many years the garden was kept immaculately by the Rector of Kirkwall Grammar School, Mr Thomson and his wife.
Approaching the garden from Papdale House
Much undergrowth had to be cut back and trees pruned – all under the skilled guidance of David Sneesby. It includes an avenue of laburnum thought to have been planted by Sir Walter Scott.
The walled garden was once part of the grounds of Papdale House. The project was made possible with funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery and Orkney Islands Council. It was helped by Gary Burton at Orkney Islands Council who granted permission to Orkney Blide Trust to take it on.
There are great plans for the garden – not just to be a beautiful place where people can come and sit but also for producing fresh fruit and vegetables.
Ross Groundwater from Lifestyles Services
Many organisations helped in the project: VAO Connect, Lifestyles Services, Papdale Halls of Residence staff and the wider community.
Moira Gordon, Chair of the Orkney Blide Trust
Mrs Thomson was present at the opening and described to me what the garden was like when she and her husband tended it. There was a Dutch greenhouse where sweetcorn and tomatoes grew. Sometimes if there was no water available in the garden itself Mrs Thomson had to carry it from Papdale House.
As work went on to restore the garden an area where a pond had once been was uncovered. It has been cleaned up ready for the next phase of the restoration.
David Sneesby, who also designed the garden at CLAN, has done an amazing job. His team worked through those dreadful conditions we had in the winter and it is a credit to them that it looks so beautiful today.
It is hoped that many groups will be able to use this space as it will attract a variety of wildlife but also as a pleasant place just to go and sit.
You can watch a recording of the opening ceremony on the Orkney News Facebook page
“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.” : Frances Hodgson Burnett,
Reporter Fiona Grahame
Related story: Papdale’s Secret Garden to be Revealed