Garden in honour of Forfar botanists

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THE FRIENDS of Forfar Botanists are about to embark on a project to bring an area of vacant space to life.

The block of land next to the Myre car park, at the site of the old football changing rooms, will soon be transformed into a garden for members of the public to enjoy.

Community group, the Friends of Forfar Botanists will build the garden to honour the work of five great botanists - all of whom came from Forfar.

George Don Senior created his own botanic garden in the town and botanists came from all over Britain to see his collection of plants. His eldest son, George Don Junior, travelled to Africa and South America to collect plants while David Don, the second eldest son, wrote the first catalogue of plants species from the Himalayas, and many other botanical works.

The Drummond brothers, Thomas and James, will also be celebrated in the garden. These botanists have a legacy extending to two mountains names after them.

One mountain in Alberta, Canada, is named after Thomas Drummond and the other in Western Australia is named after his brother, James. Both brothers were plant hunters and famous botanists and now they will also be remembered in their home town.

The Friends of the Forfar Botanists would like everyone to know what these five sons of Forfar achieved. Chairwoman, Eleanor Gledhill, said: “We are creating the garden to celebrate the lives of the Forfar Botanists.

“It is a great story of how all these men reached the pinnacle of their careers, despite coming from humble beginnings.

“We hope to turn an eyesore into an interesting garden, full of plants associated with the botanists.”

Angus Environmental Trust is the main sponsor of the project and it would not be possible to create the garden without their help. The Friends of Forfar Botanists are also delighted with support from local businesses.

The land for the garden has been leased to the Friends by owners the Forfar Common Good Fund.

The new garden has been designed by Inglis Thorburn, with the Angus Glens as a theme. The planting will include plants native to Angus as well as plants named after the Dons and the Drummonds.

Ian Christie, the well known expert on alpine plants, will be in charge of the planting. While the Australian plants which James Drummond discovered cannot be grown here, a sculpture featuring some of them will be the centre piece of the garden.

Funded by an Angus Council Community Grant, the group has created a web site at www.forfarbotanists.org

On the website you can find out more about the fascinating lives of the Dons and the Drummonds, as well as the other projects the group has planned.

If you would like to become a Friend of the Forfar Botanists, please go to the website or contact Eleanor on 01307 469090.