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Get your garden party hats out and string up the bunting, it’s time to announce the winner of Cultivation Street 2018! After working their way through a record-breaking number of entries, the judges have singled out a project which is taking Dundee by storm.

Congratulations Tay View Community Garden—you have been crowned this year’s Cultivation Street overall winner!

Situated on a disused inner-city site near one of the most polluted crossroads in Dundee, the aptly named Tay View Community Garden overlooks the River Tay.

Derelict and uninspiring in August 2016, residents, artists and Dundee City Council have thrown everything at the site over the last two years to transform it into a beautiful and productive space that ties the whole community together—and what a difference they’ve made!

The garden now has cultivated terraces where locals grow their own fruit and veg for use in home-cooked meals. It has a pond and biodiversity area which has been stocked with interesting pond creatures by the children at Wallacetown nursery.

There is an orchard, a seating area, and a designated art wall on which graffiti artists and local school children paint whatever takes their fancy.

Recently, the kids at Glebelands Primary School even created a totem pole for the garden as part of a school deforestation project.

Communities Officer, Stuart Fairweather, who entered the garden into the Cultivation Street competition, said: “The impact of the garden is felt by all who pass through it. The gardeners themselves are a polyglot bunch from all corners of the Earth, growing crops that they can use to create personal dishes from their own cultures to share with others. Fruit, veg, wildlife and art come together in this many faceted project in a thriving community.”

The Cultivation Street judges were bowled over by the huge cross-section of locals involved in bringing this community garden to life. People with mental health issues and learning disabilities, school children, refugees and recovering drug addicts have all come together to make the garden what it is today.

The judges also loved the many ways in which the garden is being put to good use.

The Dundee City Council’s Sensory Service uses the garden as a therapeutic resource for children with impaired vision and hearing, schools use the biodiversity area as an educational resource, pedestrians and cyclists use it as a pleasant shortcut to avoid a dangerous junction, and the area has seen a reduction in litter and anti-social behavior because of the project.

Make no mistake, this project’s impact on the community has been nothing short of incredible.

Tay View Community Garden will be receiving the handsome and well-earned sum of £5,000 and 100 Calliope® geraniums in support of this project and future gardens that they have planned.

That completes the Cultivation Street prize giveaway 2018, which has seen community and school gardens across the UK receive over £20,000 in prizes and 1600 Calliope® geraniums.

Well done to absolutely everyone who was involved—the entries this year were unbelievable!

Top tips on starting a community garden

If the stories of fantastic and life-changing projects like Tay View have inspired you to start your own community garden, you’re in luck—here are some top tips from our winners on kick-starting your own project:

1. Swap skill sets with other community gardens—heavy lifting for pruning, for example, or raised bed building for planting. This extends the benefits of the specialist skills in each community group to everyone.

2. Ask your city council for land. If they have derelict and disused plots, they may be only too happy to see them put to good use and turned into productive spaces for free by members of the local community.

3. Call in on local businesses and see whether they might donate materials or labour for the benefit of the community.

It doesn’t have to be posh—often their rubbish (old tyres, broken wooden benches, palettes) can be used to great effect in a community garden.

4. Make use of your local Cultivation Street ambassador. In many cases, they can help with everything from project planning to the provision of free seeds and compost to get your garden off on the right foot.

5. Shout from the rooftops! Set up a Facebook group, create a hashtag on Twitter, put up posters in the village hall and local library, contact local schools and charities, run coffee mornings and signpost your garden—the more people know about your project, the bigger the transformation and positive impact on your community.

Visit cultivationstreet.co.uk for more inspirational stories, top tips, and information on how to get involved. Take this opportunity to get gardening and you never know—next year’s winner could be you!

To see which School Gardens won, click here:

Or check out my Pinterest board for more ideas:

School Winners
School Winners
Pinterest
Pinterest Board


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