West Calder garden blooms thanks to local community


A RETIREMENT housing development’s garden has been brought to life thanks to the hard work of the West Calder community.

Bield’s Stewart Court has seen volunteers, tenants and family members transform the development’s garden into an attractive and tranquil green space for all to enjoy.

From green-fingered tenants potting plants to crafty volunteers painting benches, the project has taken a total of three months to complete.

Mary Cameron, Retirement Housing Manager at Stewart Court, said: “As a community we are so proud of all the hard work and time that has gone into transforming the garden.

“We’ve had tenants, families and volunteers roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, potting plants and painting stones and decorations.

“There is now a fairy corner, tea lights, hanging baskets, colourful flowerbeds and a pergola. We’ve also had a company contact us who wish to donate a table and chairs.

“The project has just been such a success and brought everyone together. We have tenants as old as 92 coming down and helping sweep up and water the plants.

“If this is how beautiful it all looks now, then I can’t even begin to imagine how it will look this time next year.”

The community-focused project has seen a variety of individuals chip in their time and efforts over the last few months to create the green space, including the Arts & Crafts group.

Joan O’Donnell, who has been a volunteer for five years, said: “It is fantastic work by all the tenants and especially the Arts & Crafts group who beautifully painted and varnished the decorated stones and placed them all around the flower beds.”

One tenant who has helped see the garden flourish, as well as benefit from the project, is 87-year-old Jessie Colquhoun.

Jessie said: “Since moving to Stewart Court I have been missing pottering about in the garden. This project gave me the opportunity to get out into the garden making me feel positive and happy again.”

As well as providing an area for tenants to relax and socialise, the garden has also recently welcomed judges from West Lothian Council – having been entered into this year’s annual Gardens Competition.

Mary added: “This is the first time that there has been the Best Community Garden category. We are all extremely excited and even if we don’t win, we have created a space that the community can enjoy for years to come.”

Stewart Court in West Calder is a Bield development for those aged 50 and over who want to be able to retain their independence while having help on hand when needed


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