View of Barnhill Rock Garden in summer

Barnhill Rock Garden

A Welcoming Place

The Pergola
Opened officially in 2005, the pergola is the result of a joint venture with Dundee City Council's Leisure & Communities department to provide an outdoor meeting and activities area. Planters made and planted up by the Friends around the pergola have brightened up this area and helped to provide a fine stage for the Summer Band Concerts.

The Geddes Glasshouse
In 2006, Dundee Contemporary Arts donated a large glasshouse to the Friends which had previously formed part of an artwork by Slovenian artist Apolonija Šušteršič. Again, the Friends and Council worked together to erect the Glasshouse in the Garden.

The Woodland Area
With the assistance of members of the local community, the Snowdrop Wood was revamped, winning the Friends a Neighbourhood Award Certificate of Outstanding Achievement from Beautiful Scotland in 2008.

The Scree Bed
Attention was then turned to improving the Scree Bed during the course of which large expanses of natural volcanic rock were exposed. The planting area was refilled with a mixture of sterilised loam, Edzell stone gravel, Discovery compost and a well-rotted leaf mould supplied by the Council and mixed on site by the Friends working with the resident gardener, Michael Laird. Flat “stepping stones” were laid on top before the planting began. Suitable plants were provided and planted by the Friends following which a top gravel dressing was laid. To finish off the project a dwarf pine was planted at the opening of the Garden’s Gala Day at the end of July 2009. This project has earned the Friends an Outstanding Achievement Award under the Beautiful Scotland’s Neighbourhood Awards Scheme in 2009.

Scree Bed II: During the winter and spring of 2009-2010 the Friends and Michael Laird carried out a similar project on an area to the west of the original Scree Bed – clearing out the old soil, replacing it with a special mixture as above and then planting up with new alpines and small shrubs. The area was top dressed with Edzell stone gravel. The Friends were assisted in the supply of new plants by a number of donations made in memory of loved ones who had died. This and other work being carried out by the Friends earned the Friends a certificate at Level 4 – Thriving under the revised RHS Scheme “It’s your neighbourhood” in 2010. They were also nominated for a National Certificate of Distinction in the RHS Britain in Bloom “It’s your neighbourhood” scheme which was presented to the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Friends at the Britain in Bloom awards ceremony at the Centennial Centre in Birmingham on 29th September

Scree Bed III: Towards the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 work began on the third and final phase of upgrading the Scree Bed. Old and untidy trees, shrubs and plants were removed and some of the limbs removed from an over-hanging pine - opening up the whole area and once again exposing the fascinating volcanic rock as the old compost was dug out and removed to allow for a new mix of composts and grit as in previous phases. A mixture of alpines and herbaceous perennials were procured from a number of nurseries assisted by a donation made in memory of Jean Bell who died in 2010 and these were planted in, around and above the actual Scree Bed. Members of Jean Bell’s family helped to complete the planting operation during the Spring Clean in April. The renovation of Scree Bed III was completed with a layer of grit and at the same time a fresh layer of grit was spread over Scree Beds I and II giving the whole Scree Bed a unified look.