Ninewells Community Garden lies in the beautiful arboretum of Ninewells Hospital, Dundee (near to Maggie’s). Our mission is to promote physical activity and good health through community gardening; in an environment where horticulture supports wellbeing, therapy and rehabilitation.
The garden includes wheelchair accessible paths, herbaceous borders, vegetable beds, a sensory garden, small orchard with wildflowers, picnic area, wildlife habitat, garden room, poly-tunnel and children’s play area.
The garden also boasts a physic garden, containing a range of plants used over the centuries for medicinal purposes. More information about this part of the garden can be found by following this link.
The garden is run by volunteers, with the support of garden facilitators and is available at all times for public, patients, staff, community groups, and garden volunteers to attend: for picnics, walks and play as well as gardening and a range of other activities throughout the year.
We have a selection of plants and produce available for sale (by donation), depending on the season – do call by and have a look.
The garden is set within the mature woodland to the south of the hospital. This woodland (Arboretum) has many lovely walks – here you will see mature oak, spruce, beech, walnut, pine and many more. There is an abundance of wildlife – look out for buzzards, stoats, woodpeckers and deer.
With funding from Forestry Commission Scotland and the Community Innovation Fund, we ran a two-stage design competition for architectural practices working in Scotland to design and build a Garden Room. The winning design by Jonathan Reeve of Voigt Partnership includes a spacious indoor room, large glass doors that open fully onto a decking area and a wood burning stove to keep us cosy in the winter.
Shona Robison opened the building on the 11th of November 2016 and we now have a beautiful space, providing shelter for visitors and volunteers; for lunch breaks, workshop and meetings – or for simply watching the birds.
Who we are
Ninewells Community Garden is a volunteer-led project and is managed by its trustees who share a passion for gardening and believe in the therapeutic benefits to promote physical and mental wellbeing. Our current trustees are:
Mary Colvin (Chair): Retired, with 35 years experience working in the NHS, and currently holding a range of voluntary roles. Mary has been involved with the development of the green space at the arboretum and the Community Garden since 2010.
Liz Watson (Secretary): Liz has worked for more than 30 years in voluntary sector organisations of all sizes, in a variety of roles from Development Worker and Policy Officer to Chief Executive and Board member.
Tom Mann (Treasurer): An Accountant for 50 years. Tom has first hand experience of the therapeutic benefit of Ninewells community garden while his wife was undergoing treatment at Ninewells.
Dr Derek Ritchie: Retired, 30 years in General Medical Practice. Particularly interested in how gardening and gardens can benefit the health of the community in a holistic manner.
James Doig: Retired chartered engineer with 35 years experience in manufacturing industry with roles in industrial engineering and business management. Jim, a novice beekeeper, is passionate about conservation of the natural world, and can regularly be seen working in the Community Garden, along with his faithful companion Ruaraidh the Labrador dog.
Malcolm Ross: As Grounds & Maintenance Manager, NHS Tayside, Malcolm is aware of the exciting opportunities to use the NHS estate to promote better health outcomes for patients, staff, visitors and the wider local community. Malcolm is a founding member of the Charity and provides wide ranging support with the assistance of hospital ground staff.
Peter Sandwell: Retired after 39 years in local government, involved in the development of parks and the local environment. Peter has a keen interest in promoting community involvement in parks and gardening.
Vicki Tully: Vicki currently works in NHS Tayside and at the School of Medicine leading and teaching others how to improve healthcare. Vicki has a keen interest in nature-based solutions to wellbeing.
George Curley: Senior Estates Manager at NHS Tayside.
Kitty Chilcott: Kitty is a Staff Tutor and External Engagement Partnerships Manager at Open University and believes in the importance of community engagement and the beneficial impact this can have on health and wellbeing.
Our Garden and Outreach staff:
June (Thursday and Friday) one of our Garden Facilitators and has a wealth of experience in a variety of community settings, including mental health, housing support and at the St Andrews Community Urban Farm. June has worked as a self employed gardener and works part time as a gardener at St Andrews Botanic Garden.
Jek (Tuesday-Friday) Community Engagement Facilitator, working to link the hospital to the surrounding area and the people who live there, Jek has come from the DandelionProject, co-ordinating volunteers at Fair Growing Green. Jek has a background in Fine art and realised the benefit of growing during lockdown so built on that experience with further horticultural training.
Carol (Part-time, 3-4 days/week) as our Well-being Coordinator, Carol will be trying to strengthen and develop deeper engagement between the hospital community and the garden at Ninewells. After many years working in the NHS, she changed careers to study horticulture with the National Trust for Scotland and The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. She has previously worked at Crathes, Cambo, Armadale Castle & Dundee Therapy Garden, she is extremely passionate about gardening and it’s benefits to our health.
The garden itself is always open, and a facilitator is on site most weekdays, to support our volunteers and oversee the day-to-day running of the garden. Most importantly we have a rich and diverse team of volunteers who look after the garden, the wildlife and help run workshops and events – without the support of volunteers the garden would not be able to function!
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