In 2009 Perth & Kinross Council (PKC) offered Blairgowrie in Bloom a derelict piece of land on a short term lease in the centre of Blairgowrie, adjacent to a popular car parking area and the town centre’s main recycling bins. The overall purpose of the project was to landscape the site, provide seating and floral displays so that it is generally attractive for use as a quiet meeting point for everyone including young people. There was no meeting point as such for them at the moment and, as it is, the space was considered to be an eyesore.
The space was to be leased short term (say 5 years) with certain conditions. because PKC wished to keep the option of using the site for a road improvement scheme if necessary some time in the future.
Objectives of the brief were to:
- Transform a derelict piece of land in the town centre into an attractive area.
- Provide a meeting place where people can simply enjoy relaxing after shopping or recycling
- Provide a space that young people can use and feel that it is safe and welcoming
- Bring the town, young and old, together to create a space which they will all feel ownership of and use
- Promote and highlight the work of Blairgowrie in Bloom and environmental issues.
Christopher Palmer Associates were commissioned in 2009 by Take A Pride in Perthshire and Blairgowrie in Bloom and prepared a scheme to fulfill the brief, using a design and materials that could be taken up and re-used elsewhere if PKC needed to take the site back.
The long narrow site has been subdivided by raised timber planters each enclosing a small sheltered seating space and the space further subdivided with pergolas The existing former concrete garage floor has been overlaid with a stabilized cellular gravel surface.
We worked closely with Strathmore Centre for Youth Development (SCYD) a young person led charity who created artworks to be incorporated into the design, including mosaic inlay tiles in the timber seats and painted murals on the screen boundary fence. Their members use the garden for their Youth Forums and help Blair in Bloom to take care of it.
On completion Blair in Bloom Chair Helen McCann said: “We are delighted with what has been achieved and hope residents will enjoy our beautiful, peaceful new garden in the town centre and also that the project will help to start other improvement works in this area” Dr Karen McDonnell, Acting Chair of Take a Pride in Perthshire said “we would like to thank Perth & Kinross Council, Rural Tayside LEADER Local Action Group and Blair in Bloom for funding this project which will enhance Blairgowrie and is an excellent example of what people can do for their local community.”
Main construction works were carried out by Alex Butter Landscaping Ltd with planting carried out by Blairgowrie in Bloom volunteers.
The project was funded by the Scottish Government, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and LEADER Rural Tayside
Construction Cost: £11,000.