We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Castle Huntly to develop their grounds and build a vibrant and productive garden. We will provide sustainable training in horticulture and be in a position to support the amazing work already being done within Castle Huntly.
Starting Step will help to establish a garden that provides sensory stimulation that will further enrich the beautiful grounds and grow seasonal vegetables for our café and other members of the community. The resident kitchen will benefit from the vegetables and fruit grown in the garden.
It is possible to have a vegetable garden, a sensory garden, a quiet seating area encouraging wildlife and anything else that the residents feel would benefit them. We would encourage a wish list, after all the garden is a blank sheet with the potential to grow vegetables, fruit trees, soft fruits and a multitude of flowers.
We know that there are many benefits for people working outside amidst beautiful plants. There is now significant evidence to show the benefits of gardening in the alleviation of so many ills, including mental and physical health of all ages.
Castle Huntly will be able to have an outdoor space that gives the residents an enriching experience and allow them to join in with the joy of gardening at whatever level they want and are able.
We will have the ability to be flexible and design a garden that fulfils the needs for both Castle Huntly and Starting Step. We want to ensure that we do everything to include those who want to learn and who will benefit from working in a garden.
There are other far reaching benefits that include the environment, the local and wider community.
We have our own horticulturalist joining the team. Nik Thomson is a lifelong horticulturalist and educator who initially trained at Pershore College of Horticulture and has worked with many organisations including, the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the National Trust for Scotland and The National Council for the Conservation of Plants & Gardens.
In addition to a wide-ranging horticultural experience Nik has a passion for horticultural training and education especially where linked to social inclusion and community.
The Hidden Garden...
We are really looking forward to working with HMP Perth to develop a productive and educational garden. We will use the space to train residents in horticulture whilst improving the environment for all. There are enormous benefits for everyone working with plants. Social and therapeutic horticulture is the process of using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills.