Falkland in Fife is famous for its stunning floral displays and planters throughout the village, and owes its thanks to the hard work of the Falkland Gardening Group. Each year, the Group’s dedicated volunteers plant and tend to planters filled with perennial, spring bulbs and bedding plants to decorate and enhance the village. At the same time the group provide allotments – and it’s all possible thanks to the use of a plot of land right in the centre of the community.
Sugar Acre is an area of land in Falkland village, tucked away behind the community hall. Owned by the local estate owner, Ninian Crichton Stuart, the land isn’t large enough for commercial growing or development but is the perfect size for a community gardening project. The Falkland Gardening Group (originally known as Falkland in Bloom) started out sharing the space with Fife Environment Access Trust (FEAT), but when FEAT relocated the
Group was able to take on the full space and develop it into a community gardening paradise. Not only is there space for the wider community to garden, enhancing the environment for everyone, but the land owner knows that his land is in good hands and is being proactively looked after – no fly-tipping or overgrown jungle here! In addition to three polytunnels where the group grow the flowers to put into the troughs and planters that make the village so famous, there is also a gardening area providing allotments so the wider community can grow their own fruit and vegetables without the necessity of pesticides. The allotment holders also use the polytunnels to extend their vegetable growing season or grow more ‘tropical’ veg. Raised planting beds have been built for those with limited mobility and best of all, no experience is required. Anyone in the community can come along and learn how to garden from Falkland Gardening Group’s dedicated volunteers, who meet weekly, putting their efforts into the community growing and tending the plants for the village floral displays.
Throughout its history the Falkland Gardening Group has won numerous awards, locally, nationally and internationally for Falkland village’s stunning and yet sustainable displays. Although not as focused on competition these days, the group held a very successful Open Garden weekend in the summer of 2021 to share the joy of their other Falkland gardens and Sugar Acre with the public. On summer evenings you can find members strolling through the village having a chat while watering the plants. What a great way to get to know your neighbours! Is there space in your local area for your community to come together and create a garden?