Growing Kirkcaldy forges ahead with plans for 2016

Pupils from KHS help with planting at Dunnikier Park in Kirkcaldy
Pupils from KHS help with planting at Dunnikier Park in Kirkcaldy

Last year was a groundbreaking year for Growing Kirkcaldy, the umbrella organisation which has been helping to add a splash of colour to the town by supporting a host horticultural projects.

The town won a haul of medals in local and national gardening competitions, including a silver gilt in the prestigious, top level Britain in Bloom contest.

And the organisation is hoping for another productive harvest this year, but it needs more help from members of the public to help cultivate the seedlings of the many projects it hopes to grow in the coming year.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener with years of experience or an enthusiastic amateur looking to improve your horticultural skills, the group is keen to hear from you.

“We are looking for help from everything from digging and planting through to weeding and watering and the more help we have the better we can help make our town look for the coming year,” said Alice Soper, chairman of the group whch started three years ago with the aim of supporting local groups involved in growing projects in and around the town.

“We want to get back to Britain in Bloom but to do that we need to enter Beautiful Scotland this year and do so well that they invite us to represent Scotland again in 2017.

“We have started planting on the Esplanade but hope to do a lot more especially with some of the stalled spaces in the town.”

This year much of the group’s focus will be on the waterfront area and Volunteer’s Green which it hopes to develop and increase the use of.

“We would like to do more planting and install notice boards outlining the history of Volunteers Green which has been in public ownership since the 1600s, and we are planning more zinc planters on the west end of the prom like we have at the east end, to help brighten it up,” she added.

Judith Kerr, secretary of the group, added: “We have been very lucky in getting Fife Council on board and they do a sterling job in the public parks and gardens around our town.

‘‘ Many of the schools are also very involved and we recently had a group of St Andrews High pupils helping us with bulb planting up beside the railway station.

“There are also lots of litter campaigns and projects they are involved in to help keep the environments around their schools tidy.

“Many of the primary schools also have growing projects.

‘‘And, although it can be difficult in older style schools like Kirkcaldy West and Dunnikier, where they have concrete playgrounds and not much room for planting, they are doing some great work.

‘‘Dunnikier Primary has transformed the grounds around the old janitor’s house and Keith Jackson, the council’s parks and communities events officer, is about to put a transformed skip which is like a mini portable garden into the grounds of the West for children to get involved in growing produce.

“We really want to hear from people who think their community could do with a spruce up but maybe don’t know where to start.

‘‘We can give them a helping hand and provide plants and advice as well as practical help to get them started.”

If you have a gardening project you would like some advice or practical help with, contact Growing Kirkcaldy by calling Judith Kerr, secretary, on: 07879 241764; email: judk43@aol.com or visit the Growing Kirkcaldy Facebook page www.facebook.com/Growing-Kirkcaldy