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Locations announced for Unexpected Gardens across Scotland as part of Dandelion creative programme

© Andrew CawleyYvonne Kincaid, events manager, on the Floating Garden boat
Yvonne Kincaid, events manager, on the Floating Garden boat

A number of “edible” gardens are to appear on unused land and unexpected places across Scotland as part of a nationwide creative programme.

Twelve “Unexpected Gardens” will spring up at community libraries, waterfronts and car parks from April to September, bringing together food, science and musical performances.

Commissioned by EventScotland and funded via the Scottish Government, they are part of Dandelion, Scotland’s contribution to UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a series of nationwide creative events and engagement.

One of the Unexpected Gardens will be on a canal boat (Pic: Andrew Cawley)Each Unexpected Garden will host a programme of events unique to their location throughout the summer. A local Musician in Residence will also be appointed to each site, with applications now open, to create a new piece of work to be presented at the culminating Harvest event in September.

Partnering with creative community organisations in locations across Scotland, Dandelion’s Unexpected Gardens will also include one Floating Garden which will tour the Forth and Clyde and Union canals.

Consisting of two barges and floating ecosystems that will be delivered in collaboration with urban water scaping specialists Biomatrix, the Floating Garden will engage community networks across central Scotland, from local growers and schools to members of the public.

Launching from Glasgow in June, the Floating Garden will pass through Bishopbriggs, Kirkintilloch, Auchinstarry, Bonnybridge, Polmont, Linlithgow, Broxburn; Ratho and Edinburgh before docking at the Helix, Falkirk until September 2022.

Neil Butler, Festival and Events Director, Dandelion said: “We’re excited to announce today the locations of our Unexpected Gardens and look forward to watching each of the gardens come to life as they grow. Sustainability lies at the heart of our programme, and we can’t wait to see people from all over Scotland sowing, growing, and sharing food, music and ideas.”

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Other sites include Findhorn Bay Arts’ gardens in the centre of Forres. The unique gardens will respond to the town’s main square and multiple alleys, promoting the growing of mushrooms which will thrive in the dark shadowy entryways.

Also in the Highlands, arriving in sites across Caithness, Lyth Arts Centre’s garden will roll off a trailer and become home to a performance and workshop space.

In Fife, the Leven Programme will convert the car park of The Centre – a community space – into a garden site.

Elsewhere, Cove Park in Argyll will look to the water as they use tidal sites in Loch Long and Gare Loch to focus on food and flora native to the area such as sea buckthorn and seaweed.

Edinburgh Agroecology Group will develop a garden site at Lauriston Farm, RIG Arts will take over a site behind South West Library in Greenock, Taigh Chearsabhagh in Uist, Fèis Rois in Alness, The Stove Network and Stranraer Development Trust, Alchemy Film & Arts in the Borders and a partnership of organisations in Dundee are also dusting off their green fingers to get involved.

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Marie Christie, Head of Development at VisitScotland said: “We are thrilled that gardens across the whole of Scotland will be enjoyed by local people and visitors as part of the Dandelion programme throughout this year. It’s wonderful to be part of a project that celebrates such creativity and aims to connect with the widest range of audiences and participants.”

Dandelion is one of 10 major creative projects commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, which is taking place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in 2022.

To find out more about your local ‘edible garden’ visit dandelion.scot.