Shieldhill Butterfly Project Garden for the Community

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Back in September 2014, when Tilda was still tucked up safely in my tummy, Michael and I met with Elaine from the Butterfly Project to discuss how we could help them transform the local church’s steeply sloping garden into a space the community could use. Elaine with the support of her Brownies wanted to turn this unused space into somewhere accessible, wildlife friendly and somewhere for the whole community to use and enjoy. We helped them create the Shieldhill Butterfly Project Garden for the Community.

The sloping garden before

The sloping garden before

The garden was quite steep so tackling the elevation differences was the first of our tricky tasks. To do this we created different areas and we used different materials to make the garden as aesthetically appealing as possible.

Our design for the Shieldhill garden

Our design for the Shieldhill garden

The top area was transformed into a large decked area using a composite material keeping it very low maintenance. This is the perfect space to have functions, entertaining, have outdoor classes etc.

The large deck is perfect for social events

The large deck is perfect for social events

Some wide steps make it easy to access the lower patio made from sandstone. In-built seating around the edges makes it a welcoming space to relax. A fabulous mosaic of the Girl Guide logo takes centre stage in the patio.

Sandstone patio with inset mosaic

Sandstone patio with inset mosaic

To the side is a lovely, flat lawn area – a far cry from the steep grassy slope there before.

A winding, resin bound path leads you around the garden and passed the mixed planting.

Paths lead you around the lawn

Paths lead you around the lawn

Towards the gate there are painted hopscotch and draughts games for visitors to enjoy (we had our own fiercely fought game of draughts with the girls when we were there!)

Draughts and hopscotch add entertainment

Draughts and hopscotch add entertainment

Beautiful stone raised beds provides more planting and at a height for everyone to enjoy.

And beautiful metal gates with bespoke messages finish off the garden perfectly.

Michael officially opens the new gardens with Elaine and the local guiding movement

Michael officially opens the new gardens with Elaine and the local guiding movement

The local brownies have loved adding their own touches to the garden with their beautiful artwork.

Artwork by 1st Shieldhill Brownies

Artwork by 1st Shieldhill Brownies

And the local wildlife has not been forgotten – the planting has been designed to attract a wide array of wildlife into the garden, the poshest of bug hotels has been created (definitely 5 star!) and there are even hedgehog homes under the decking.

And, as with all community projects, it does take a long time to agree the design, get quotes, choose a contractor, get funding etc. It’s all credit to Elaine and the team for persevering and making it happen. Tilda was delighted to see the completed garden almost 4 years since she first visited!

Tilda loves the new community garden

Tilda loves the new community garden

Truly a garden for the whole community. Well done to Elaine and all the team for bringing the Shieldhill Butterfly Project Garden for the Community to fruition!

Jill & all at Vialii


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