As you drive into Scotland’s most southerly village, Drummore, you may be forgiven for thinking that you are in the Mediterranean and not South West Scotland, for as you enter the village you are met by the newly planted Gateway Garden.
With the swaying palm trees and the back drop of Luce Bay, this latest addition to the ambience of the village is money well spent, and shows that the climate for this part of Scotland is indeed warmer than most expect.
The original concept of a gateway garden dates back to just after the millenium, when the land was gifted to the village by Drummore born and bred Billy McClintick. Successive Community Councils sought funding for the garden which at that time was called the Millenium Garden, and over the years work was carried out at the site, with many volunteer hours being worked on the basic infrastructure. In 2012 Drummore village was invited to be considered for the Capacity for Change (C4C) which is a leader funded project aimed at small rural communities, but only those who had not had any previous engagement with the Dumfries and Galloway Leader Programme. The programme is designed to support small rural communities in the development and implementation of small scale projects which will make a difference to life within the communities and forms part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme.
After a mini social survey was carried out, Drummore was accepted and the work was carried out. The Drummore Community Garden is a great example of what C4C was intended to achieve by bringing together members of the community from the oldest to the youngest in a shared project that everyone would benefit from. The garden and the wider planting within the village will not just generate community pride but will act as an inspiration for some of the bigger plans that the community would like to realize.
Alec Peebles, a community councilor and one of those heavily involved in the project said: “The Drummore in bloom theme emerged as a way to kick start the village into becoming welcoming and attractive for visitors and locals alike and the refurbished garden and wider tree planting within the village is the result. We are very grateful to all those who have helped create the garden, and in particular C4C project Officer Claudia Stuerk, Dumfries and Galloway Programme-Nicola Hill, Landscape Architect Douglas Coltard, Ed Forrest of the Uplands Partnership, Kenny Patterson for the ground work, Ted Beck of Drummore for his donation of both the flag pole and the friendship flag. Without their help and assistance and the many volunteers from the community this project just would not have been delivered.”
Ena Scott, one of the older residents of the village officially opened the garden and hoisted the friendship flag. Pupils of Drummore Primary were also on hand to finish the planting.