Lockdown Luing gets growing

Growing their own on Luing.

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More than 3.5 tons of compost has been ferried to Luing much to the delight of lockdown gardeners.

Social-distancing rules applied when Taynuilt-based garden centre Corachie Clematis travelled over on the ferry to make the special delivery, complete with fruit trees, bedding plants, rose feed, seeds and one gardening fork.


The bulk order was the idea of Gemma Wells from the island village of Toberonochy who took away 12 first prizes and six second prizes for her flowers and veg – including an inch-high turnip – from last year’s horticultural show in August.

‘Lockdown happened so suddenly that there were lots of comments flying about from people wishing they’d got this and got that for their gardens. Because we are on slate, everything in people’s gardens is brought over! If you want soil you’ve got to go and get it! Or get it brought to you!

‘I saw on Facebook that Corachie Clematis was still doing deliveries, so I contacted them to ask if they would consider coming to Luing – it would be a bit of a trek, but they said yes,’ said Gemma.

She added: ‘I put word out in our newsletter and on Facebook, and the orders soon started rolling in!’

On delivery day, the garden centre lorry only came off the ferry enough to unload the orders, put in organised piles for people to collect sticking to social-distancing regulations.

Jana Baird from the Corachie Clematis said: ‘Our little lorry is trying to service as many places as we can if there is a plea for help. Gemma did a good job on Luing taking the lead to get all the orders together. It’s great to be able to help people stay safe and well in their gardens at home.’

Gemma added: ‘We’ve got people gardening on Luing who have never gardened before. People have got to stay at home, so now’s a good time as any to start.

‘This year’s horticultural show could still be on as far as we know. People are saying there should be a lot of entries this year, they’re talking as though it’s happening. We’ll keep out fingers crossed.’

The 2019 show in Cullipool attracted a good turnout of islanders and visitors taking part, and bidding at the event raising cash for Cancer Research UK and the Luing Shopper Club Bus, which runs people weekly to the local store and the ferry.