Summer events launch Dundee’s new edible garden

Partners in the nationwide Dandelion project have thrown open the garden gate to a summer programme at the Fair Growing Green in Dundee, signalling the start of its new role as a community garden. 

The creative food growing project, led by University of Dundee experts, is putting down roots in the city to bring the neglected community asset at Fairmuir Park back to life.

Having lain dormant and amid concerns that the space could be lost to developers, the former bowling green is being reimagined as one of Dandelion’s “Unexpected Gardens,” where members of the public can come together to sow, grow and share food and flowers, and take part in a summer programme of creative events.  

The public are invited to visit the garden and join a variety of creative events, which include lunchtime picnics, foraging and harvesting, free garden produce and one off activities such as biodiversity identification and tree planting.

Mel Woods, Professor in Creative Intelligence at the University, said, “Bringing new life to this space is the culmination of a lot of hard work. 

“The bowling green is such an integral part of the area but has sadly lacked a defined role for some time. Dandelion’s Unexpected Gardens aims to rectify this.

“Now as we open the garden and launch the creative programme, we want to welcome local residents and visitors to the space and share this vibrant asset as well as create a legacy for Friends of Fairmuir. Their hard work and campaigning have created the potential for us to build a shared vision, which is really exciting.” 

Led by the University of Dundee, local partners have come together to bring the project to the city, including Creative Dundee, Dundee City Council and community group, Friends of Fairmuir. Dandelion is a nationwide, six-month creative celebration of growing, music, science and art, aimed at re-establishing sustainable spaces in the heart of communities. It is commissioned by EventScotland and funded by the Scottish Government, and is Scotland’s contribution to Unboxed: Creativity in the UK.

As well as a space to grow, the rejuvenated green becomes a focal point for the local community that hosts creative workshops, community food events and music making workshops from Musician in Residence, St Kilda Mailboat. The programme will culminate in a harvest weekend from 9 - 11 September, joining similar events at Unexpected Gardens throughout the country. 

Eilish Victoria, Emerging Creative Producer at Creative Dundee, said "It's wonderful to have the garden open to the public and to see how enthusiastic local people are to have a new community growing space.

“It shows just how valuable these spaces are and I can't wait to welcome more people to the garden over the summer; whether it's to grow something for the first time, eat food together, or simply experience the benefits of being outdoors with others.”

Martin Green, Chief Creative Officer at Unboxed, added, “Unboxed celebrates creativity in its widest sense, placing it at the heart of people’s everyday lives, as Dandelion is doing across Scotland this summer. As a project, Dandelion is literally about sowing seeds for the future, which we hope will inspire local communities and the next generation.”

Visit the Fair Growing Green Instagram page for garden events and updates.