St Andrews Museum Sensory Garden

Horticultural Students from Elmwood Campus recently attended the official opening of the sensory garden within the grounds of a famous St Andrews museum.

Lecturer Bruce Robertson with some of the students involved in the project

Lecturer Bruce Robertson with some of the students involved in the project

Elmwood Campus was approached by the St Andrews Preservation Trust to create an interactive garden area to a newly acquired area of the museum’s facilities.

The charity – which focuses on 200 years of social history of the townspeople – recently acquired a dilapidated wash house which has since been converted into a modern research facility. This left the old drying green – in front of the building – untouched.   

Lecturer Bruce Robertson with some of the students involved in the project

Lecturer Bruce Robertson with some of the students involved in the project

Andrew Johnson, St Andrews Preservation Trust Museum Development Advisor, said:

“We decided to create a sensory garden in the grounds of the museum and approached Elmwood to ask if the project would be of interest. The project appealed to the tutors and they could see that a great number of students would benefit from participation.” 

Working within the budget provided by the Trust, the SVQ Level 2 and 3 students created and constructed the garden which includes raised beds and a pond. Other features designed to stimulate visitors include vibrant colours, sounds and scents, mirrors, relaxing music and bird feeding areas.   

Bruce Robertson, Horticultural Lecturer at SRUC Elmwood campus, said:

“This has been an excellent practical project for our students.  It has provided them with a great experience and an opportunity to work in the community.”

Lee Smith, a horticulture student from Methil added:

“It was great to be involved in this project from the beginning and working with the staff at the museum.  I’ve been able to put to use a lot of the skills I’ve learned the classroom.”    

Lisa Cattenach, an SVQ Level 2 Horticulture student from Glenrothes, has been involved throughout the project and attended the very first meeting with the college and the Trust. She said:

“I’m glad I was part of it.  It was a really good experience and it was lovely to be involved in a community project.  I’ve learned a lot of new skills that I can use in the future- I’m working on designing my own garden at the moment.”

The garden is located in North Street, St Andrews.  The completion of the project coincided with the 80th Year of The Preservation Trust’s 80th anniversary and will be an ongoing feature of the Trust’s annual Hidden Gardens day.

SRUC offers a variety of Horticulture courses.  Further information can be found here;  www.sruc.ac.uk/info/120413/horticulture_and_plantsmanship

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