Walk With the Director, James Hearsum - written by Charles Pfeil

Thursday 6th June 2019 at 2pm 

We were pleased to have our Director, James Hearsum leading the Garden Walk with a Focus this month.

The focus was a behind the scenes tour to the community garden space The new back entrance fence had been grant-aided from the Climate Challenge Fund to provide a secure area, the Kernel, for use by community groups. These include Men's Shed, St Andrews in Bloom, Transition and St Andrews Environmental Network. Access for these groups is via a gate, funded by the Pilgrim Trust, on Viaduct Walk. The groups use sheds, made from shipping containers and clad with wooden panels, with a central area to encourage communication between the groups.

Some of the groups are involved in re-cycling and re-using items for further distribution. We were introduced to David from ‘Clean and Green’ who have a storage facility at the Botanic Garden for the recyclable materials. Clean and Green are soon to launch an awareness campaign in the town of the use of single-use plastics which has now become a UK –wide campaign.

We also saw the community garden which has had 400 tons of top soil added. The first salad crops of the season had already been harvested. This part of the garden is overseen by Elliot, who is to give a talk to the Friends later in the year.

We were shown the facilities for St Andrews in Bloom, a glasshouse full of hanging baskets and another full of young plants including trailing Pelargoniums and Bacopa. Once the flowers are in the town, Botanic Garden staff keep the baskets and tubs watered throughout the season.

We saw the suite of compost heaps, holding a range from raw material from the Garden to well rotted compost.

It was an interesting walk and talk, and we thank the Director for his time.