June 2013

At the garden we are busy with the school children’s visits, and starting to plant vegetables in pots, and outside, now that the soil is finally warming up. We have young vegetable plants and herbs, bedding plants and perennials for sale, at the garden on Monday mornings from 10.30 to 12.30 or on Thursdays, from 3 to 4.30 pm. If you would like to arrange to visit at another time to look at our plant stock, please contact Amanda, as below.

We are also preparing for our AGM at the end of May, and making plans for the sensory area at the garden. The garden is open every day in good weather and you are welcome to come to sit and listen to the birds, and watch the bees and butterflies. Children MUST be accompanied by an adult for safety reasons, and dogs kept on a lead, and please do not eat anything you find in the garden, even if you think you know that it is safe.

On the morning of Saturday 8thJune, from 10.30 to 12, we will be holding a “Blooming Great Tea Partyat the garden, in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care. All welcome, please tell your friends, and plants will also be for sale then as well.

For further information, contact Amanda James, on [01577] 840809, or

May 2013  

After the long, cold spring, we are hoping for an improvement in May, so that we can start vegetable growing with the pupils from Mrs Wardlaw’s class at the Primary School. We are also looking forward to starting work on the new Sensory area at the garden.

We have started our Monday morning volunteer sessions, between about 10.30 and 12.30, when all are welcome, and you could also call for advice or plant sales. Plant sales also on Thursday afternoons from 3 to 4pm,and the garden is now open for visitors ; children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, and as this is a working garden, please take care, and don’t touch or taste the plants. If any group would like to arrange a visit to the garden, please contact Amanda.

We would like to thank Crook of Devon Village Hall for hosting our first plant sale of the year, on 30th March, which was very successful for us;  also Fossoway Store, and Hunter’s butchers who are again making our plants available at their shops.

We are also very grateful to Dobbies in Kinross for a donation of items to help with our growing with the children, under their “Here we Grow” programme.

Our Annual General Meeting will be held in the Garden Room at the Church Centre, on the High Street, on Wednesday 29th May, at 7.30 pm, and all are welcome to attend, to hear about our activities over the last year.

For further information contact Amanda James 0n [01577] 840809, or, or visit our website

April 2013 News:

With Easter, and hopefully some warmer weather approaching, we have now started our volunteer sessions at the garden on Monday mornings from about 10.30 to 12.30, and anyone is welcome to come along for a chat, or to help out. This is also a good time for plant sales or to get advice about your gardening questions.

The garden will be open for visitors every day from the start of April.

We are looking forward to our first plant sale of the year, at the Spring Tea in Crook of Devon Village Hall on Easter Saturday.

Mrs Wardlaw’s class from Kinross Primary School will be visiting us on 27th March, and then on Thursday afternoons after the holidays, to learn about plants and the environment, and grow their own vegetables.

We are also very proud to have been chosen by the Manager and staff at Dobbies in Kinross, to be their Local Charity of the Year. It is great to be recognised for the work which our volunteers do with the children, and others in the local community, and we look forward to working with Dobbies, with some fundraising and fun events at the garden centre over the coming year. We will also be working to develop a special, easy access, Sensory area at the garden.  

For further information contact Amanda James on [01577] 840809, or  or check out our website at www.potagergardenkinross

March 2013

It is lovely to see signs of spring, with snowdrops and other bulbs, and we are looking forward to another growing season, and the school children’s first visit at the end of March.

If the weather is suitable, we will also resume volunteer sessions at the garden this month on Monday mornings from about 10.30 to 12.30. If you would like to join our friendly group, and learn a bit about growing flowers or vegetables, do come along for a cup of tea and a chat. Please phone Amanda to check when we are starting if you are interested, or have any questions or ideas. We are also planning to start work on our new sensory area soon.

It is tempting to start planting with a bit of spring sunshine, but we need to be aware with tender plants that we can have frosts here until May. Old wisdom says that you can sow seeds when the ground is warm enough to sit on in your undies! It is probably safer, and more comfortable, to wait until new weeds start to germinate, then you know that the soil has warmed up. We will be launching our website with a new name shortly, which will contain growing tips for each month; details in the next newsletter.

We are still needing someone to act as our Treasurer, and hope you can maybe help us with this. This is not onerous, with support  from others, and we have a very helpful accountant, but we need someone who is independent  from existing committee members. Please phone Amanda if you think you may be able to help, thanks.

We are very grateful to Frances from Mawcarse,  who has recently donated a heated propagator to the garden, and we look forward to using it for seeds and cuttings in the near future.

We will be having a spring plant stall at the Spring Tea at Fossoway Village hall in Crook of Devon, on the morning of 30th March, and hope to see you there.

For information, contact Amanda James on 840809 or

February 2013

I would like to wish all our volunteers, visitors and friends of the garden a very happy New Year, and am looking forward to another growing season starting again soon.

In December we held a very successful workshop in the Crook of Devon Institute, to make our own Christmas wreaths, with fresh greenery and other decorations in oasis rings. Everyone had great fun, creating beautiful wreaths which were all different, and attendees asked for the workshop to be repeated, also maybe at another time of the year. Thank you to Lucille, Margaret and Ruth for your help on the day.

I would also like to thank Hunters’ Butchers and Fossoway Store for selling some of our wreaths and other Christmas decorations, and I hope that they were enjoyed by the customers.

We have been very fortunate to be granted £400 by the Community Council Newsletter Fund, and are planning to develop a sensory area at the garden, with scented and edible flowers and foliage, as well as plants with interesting textures and sounds, with wind-chimes and a solar powered water feature. May of these will be planted in pots and raised to be easily reached, with disabled access, and we hope to encourage more visitors to the garden when the work is completed in the summer. Watch out for more information in future newsletters, and please let me know if you have any ideas to help with this project.

We are still needing a Treasurer to join our friendly committee, please let me know if you think you could help us with this role.

Amanda James, tel 01577 840809,

November 2012

We were lucky to have a bright day for our coffee morning on 29th September,  thanks to all who came, and we raised £181 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Thank you also to the volunteer helpers, and home bakers for their donations which were enjoyed by all.

I was pleased to meet one gentleman at the composting advice session on 2nd October, and we had an interesting chat about different bins, mixing green and brown waste, and the importance of worms! I hope the few worms from our heap like their new home, and do the trick there.

If you would like advice about home composting, or to arrange a session for your gardening group, please contact Amanda.

Later in October we will be hosting a networking meeting of workers and volunteers from other community gardening projects to share ideas, arranged via Trellis, who are based in Perth, and support therapeutic gardening across the country. This will include a visit to the garden, weather permitting.

I am planning to run a workshop in early December, to make your own fresh Christmas wreath; we would supply instruction, greenery of different colours, and an oasis ring, just bring your own embellishments. Please contact Amanda if interested, and more details will be in the December newsletter. Wreaths can also potentially be made to order.

We were all saddened by the recent death of our Treasurer, Bob Inglis. We are grateful for his support to the garden over many years, and he will be missed by us all; we send our sympathies to Brenda and their family.

For information contact Amanda James on 840809, or

October 2012

We were pleased to win several prizes at the flower show, as part of Kinross Show in August, and thank them for the special rosettes to acknowledge the children’s involvement in growing them. The school children, now in P6, returned to the garden on 30th August, and enjoyed digging up potatoes and picking other veg, and tasting them, as well as soup and ratatouille made with vegetables from the garden. We received some lovely thank you letters from them at the end of the summer term.

The nursery teacher at Kinross Primary School has also asked us for some advice about some planting in their garden area, and we hope to arrange a visit for them to the Potager.

We would again like to thank Hunters’ Butchers and Fossoway Store in Crook of Devon, for making some of our plants available for sale over the summer, and also everyone who has bought these. We hope that they are still growing well, and plant sales are also available at the garden on Monday mornings from about 10.30 to 12.30. We would also welcome any new volunteers or enquiries at the garden at these times.

Our new website is now operational, and has incorporated past information from our use of the Community Council website, thank you to Pauline Watson for facilitating this. The website address is a bit of a mouthful, but if you type in “The Kinross Potager Garden” you will find our Google site near the top of the list. This includes photos and recent news, how to find the garden or to contact us, and information about future events. Any comments about the website, and how it could be made more relevant to you would be most welcome.

We are planning soon to level the existing slabs, and lay some more, to improve access to the garden for anyone who may be unsteady on their feet, and the garden will remain open during the day, while the weather remains fairly warm, so do pay us a visit. In particular we are looking forward to our Big Coffee Morning for MacMillan, on 29th September, at 10.30am. There will also be a stand there from Phoenix cards, and Zero Waste P&K, with advice about reducing food waste and unwanted mail, and encouraging recycling.

On Tuesday 2nd October, from 1pm to 2.30, we will also be hosting a free Zero Waste information session about making your own compost. Composting makes good use of some of your waste, and is an important  free addition to the health of your garden soil. Come along to see how we make compost at the garden, and bring along your questions or problems and have a chat and a cup of tea. If you would prefer an advisory session about composting at a weekend, or would like Amanda to speak to a local group of gardeners, please let me know.

Amanda James 840809 or

September 2012

Despite the changeable weather over the summer, we have some good crops coming at the garden, and will be entering a few in the Kinross show flower show, and look forward to the school pupils returning soon for their harvesting visit. The automatic irrigation system has proved valuable in the greenhouse and cold frames, but rather un-necessary outside!

Thank you to the volunteer group who have continued looking after the garden, during the school holidays.

We now have a new raised planter which can be used from a seated position, to grow easy vegetables or flowers, which will be installed soon. It has been made using some of the old fence posts, and other re-cycled wood, thanks Steve! We are also planning a sensory area in the garden, with interesting scents and textures, as well as being visually attractive.

The introductory gardening course in May was very successful, and we would be happy to run it again in the autumn, or for example, to give a half day session on any specific gardening issues. If you have any ideas or requests, please let us know.

Coming soon, a new Potager garden website! Thanks to Angela, our new secretary, we are developing a new website for the garden, with photos, information and a calendar of events. Further information available next month.

On Saturday 29th September, we will be holding a “BIG COFFEE MORNING” at the garden from 10.30 am until 12, in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support. Donations for refreshments and a raffle, including a hamper of garden produce, will go to MacMillan, and there will also be plant sales for garden funds. We have a wide range of young plants, and can give planting suggestions for particular areas of your garden, for winter colour, or easy maintenance. Do come and visit us, enjoy some good coffee and home baking, and help this good cause.

The Dobbies Little Seedlings Gardening club continues on the first Sunday of each month at 11am. In September we will be planting spring flower bulbs in old wellies! It is fun and free, ask at Dobbies for more information.

Garden Convenor Amanda James, tel [01577]  840809, or

July 2012

The School children have now finished their eight visits to the garden, and they appear to have enjoyed the hands-on gardening, as well as impressing their science teacher with what they have learned about plants and other living things with us. They have already tasted some early radishes and lettuce grown in the greenhouse, and will return after the summer holidays for their usual harvesting visit.

We held a successful plant sale at the Primary School on 1st June, and all of the pupils had a chance to sell some of the vegetable plants which they had grown. The P7 classes also held a Fair Trade coffee afternoon, and we are grateful to everyone at the school for the chance to link our sale with this.

We still have some tomato and sweet pepper plants to sell, as well as a range of perennials, shrubs, soft fruit, and herbs, and we are available for sales at the garden on Monday mornings from 10.30 to 12. For plant sales at other times, or if your group would like to arrange to visit the garden, please contact Amanda on 01577 840809 The garden is open every day over the summer.

In mid May we held a one day introductory gardening course, covering seeds sowing, growing on, and cuttings, and advice about growing your own vegetables, even in small spaces. The feedback from the participants was very positive, and we would consider running the course again, or a more advanced one, depending on the demand. If you are interested to find out more, please contact Amanda.

At our AGM in May, we welcomed Angela Prescott as our new Secretary, and David Rae as a committee member, and gave our thanks to Irene Thorogood, the outgoing Secretary.  We are grateful too to Katharine Douglas of Smartworks Accountants for her advice and examination of our accounts, at short notice, and no charge.

We also now have a sturdy new fence, thanks again to the Rotary Club and Round table , and also the Rae family, for their donations towards this.

At the Dobbies Little Seedlings Gardening Club on 1st July the children will be growing their own salads, and on 5th August, learning about butterflies and bees. The club is for children aged 4 to 10 years, and is free, please enquire at Dobbies to register.