Share Your Thoughts on the Restoration of Aros Park Historic Walled Garden
We are inviting community feedback for the vision restoring Aros Park Historic Walled Garden. Follow this link to share your views in our feedback survey and shape the future of this wonderful space on the edge of Tobermory.
The garden now
Hidden from view and surrounded by trees, many visitors to Aros Park wouldn’t know a walled garden was ever there. But venture through the woodland from the main carpark and you’ll arrive at the garden’s impressive stone walls.
Inside, self-seeded trees dominate the space, while invasive plants like bracken and rhododendron ponticum have taken over at ground level. And yet, as if by magic, as we began work to clear the garden, we were able to find surviving plants from the garden’s original box hedging!
The garden in future
We aim to restore the long-overgrown walled garden at Aros Park, breathing new life into the garden and benefits into the community. We want to create an accessible-for-all garden that cultivates skills, nurtures minds and enables people to grow together in a garden that is as diverse in visitors as it is in planting, rooted in local history.
In 2018, the community consultation begun, and while work was paused owing to the covid-19 pandemic in 2020, we’re back into action once more, committed to reclaiming the garden from the forest and returning people to its heart. Now, having formed a vision based on ideas suggested in 2018, we want to know what you think.
Vision for the restoration
Building on the garden’s history as a source of fruit, vegetables and flowers for Aros House and weaving in island connections, like the Hooker family of plant hunters from Lochbuie and the Beaton physicians to the Lords of the Isles, we hope the garden will pay homage to its past while also paving the way for its future, as a garden to be enjoyed by all the community.
The pathways trace the layout of the original paths that were once lined with box hedging, honouring the original navigational experience of the garden. Along one wall, dedicated planting beds will provide space for the production of fruits and vegetables in honour of the garden’s original purpose. It will also give those without gardens of their own and those with an interest in food production the chance to experience the process first-hand, cultivating the space and strengthening the connection between soil and plate, all with minimal food miles.
In amongst planting beds will one day be quiet sitting areas to gather with friends or simply clear the mind, tucked amid specimen planting, and interesting hedge rooms to create privacy and peace. Seasonal educational trails will spring from the borders and guide families and school children through the garden, while skills-based workshops hosted in the garden and opportunities to volunteer give every generation the chance to get their hands working, further their education with the mastering of new skills, all while enjoying the fresh air.
The anticipated centrepiece of the garden is a beautiful orangery at the head of a sweeping lawn. A nod towards the glasshouse that once stood in the garden, this purpose-designed orangery and large, level lawn would offer a unique opportunity to bring the community together in the garden for events to support music and the arts, and even wedding ceremonies too.
The covid-19 pandemic brought to light just how needed a sheltered outdoor venue to come together in is for Tobermory and North Mull, and the garden would address this need.
Please tell us what you think, share your thoughts and ideas for the restoration of the garden by filling out our feedback survey here. Thank you.