Queensferry residents unveil community garden mosaic after six years of work

THe final touch to a community garden will be unveiled in South Queensferry today.

Saturday, 17th August 2019, 1:22 pm
Iona Chandler (chair of Green Free Trust) and Mike Spring (Mural Designer) give a sneak look at the 14.2m mural which has been installed in the revamped Hawthorn Bank Community Garden. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Evening News was granted a first look at the newly installed mosaic at the Hawthorn Bank community garden in the town.

Created by more than 100 people ten years ago, the mosaic was constructed in 32 separate pieces before being stitched together by artist Mike Spring.

It is the culmination of more than six years of work by Greenferry, a charity based in the town.

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Greenferry took on the project of revitalising the patch of land, which had become derelict and unused, in 2014.

Working to transform the area by getting rid of rubbish, funds were then raised to survey the site and prepare the land to be used as a community garden. Paths were installed and two platforms, one of which has two seats with a view of the Forth Bridge, and flowers were planted to create a natural outdoor space for those living in the town.

The garden also received 12 ‘sensory trees’ from Octopus Energy and is regularly used by the local nursery as a place for the children to play outside.

The mosaic, created by Mike Spring and Garry Smith alongside members of the community, is the last stage of the garden’s transformation.

It spent years in storage after the artists struggled to find a home big enough to house the artword, until Hawthorn Bank was suggested as its final home.

Over the last year, volunteers have worked to create a platform for the mosaic which has been slowly stitched together, and will be unveiled at 2pm today at the garden.

“The mosaic reflects the feeling of Queensferry,” said John Murphy, chair of the Queensferry Heritage Trust.

“It goes into quite a lot of detail including things like a litter picker and a Citroen 2CV on the High Street.”

Mr Murphy added it was only when the garden was initially finished last year that the suggestion to house the mosaic there was taken.

He said: “They couldn’t find anywhere to put it, so it was only when we completed the garden when we said how about there.

“It is made out of mostly found materials from the beach. There are bits of see glass and broken plates and it is all organic.

“It has grown out of Queensferry and ended up on one of its walls.”

Fiona Chandler, chair of Greenferry, said: “ It has taken a bit of time, we were initially hoping to open in May.

“The garden has extended the public usable space in the centre of Queensferry.

“In the past you would come up the close and just find a wasteland.

“Now there is this big space right in middle that is being used.”