Garden centre opening at Milltown Community

SOME of the Milltown Community team: From left, Mike Duffy, Michelle Parkinson, co-ordinator Stuart Troup, Duncan Smith and Fred Robertson.

SOME of the Milltown Community team: From left, Mike Duffy, Michelle Parkinson, co-ordinator Stuart Troup, Duncan Smith and Fred Robertson.

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A SPECIAL needs community in Arbuthnott is gearing up for a busy summer season, with the opening of its garden centre this weekend.

Milltown Community, which provides its residents and people from across the area with the chance to work together on different projects, will have a range of different flowers, plants, tools and garden furniture on sale from May 1.

From woodwork and gardening to arts and crafts, Milltown is a hive of activity set in the idyllic Mearns countryside and is aimed at giving people with special needs access to therapeutic work.

Co-ordinator Stuart Troup said: “We want to let the wider community know that we are here and encourage more people to come and see what we’re doing.”

As well as growing plants and making a range of wooden garden items such as bird tables and nest boxes, one of the main projects Milltown’s six residents and 23 day clients undertake is restoring second hand tools to send to Malawi as part of the scheme Tools for Self-Reliance.

The Community, which was established 15 years ago, is hoping to raise £120,000 to build a new wood workshop by 2012, while a community garden project is in the early stages.

Stuart said the residents are also aiming to take part in the 2011 Open Garden Scheme on June 12 and are working hard to make sure the grounds look as colourful as possible by then.

“We are really, really busy trying to get the gardens looking nice,” Stuart said. “The scheme is for people just to come and look around, there will be different stalls and things like that. In the summer time it is so colourful here, it is really quite therapeutic walking round them.

“We are just trying to extend things gradually - we’re getting a bit bigger every year.”

You will find Milltown Community in the village of Arbuthnott on the B967 between Fordoun (A90) and Inverbervie (A92).