Stunning tribute to Forfar botanists opens to public

James Meikle, great great grandson of botanist Thomas Drummond, who opened the garden, in the foreground with friends of The  Forfar Botanists, sponsors and local councillors looking on.

James Meikle, great great grandson of botanist Thomas Drummond, who opened the garden, in the foreground with friends of The Forfar Botanists, sponsors and local councillors looking on.

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A former eyesore site in the centre of Forfar has been transformed into a living tribute to five of the town’s famous sons.

The corner site leading into the Myre car park has been tenderly transformed by award-winning Scottish dry-stane dyker, David Wilson, and a community group calling themselves The Friends of The Forfar Botanists have dug in to create a floral tribute which is both tasteful and educational.

The garden pays homage to George Don, George Don Junior, David Don and Thomas and James Drummond, with Monifieth man James Meikle, great great grandson of Thomas Drummond invited to take part in a planting ceremony on Wednesday when the garden opened to the public.

He was accompanied by his daughters Louise and Katherine for the historical occasion and was assisted by Kirriemuir plant expert Ian Christie, who has been in charge of the planting.

Welcoming everyone to the open afternoon, Eleanor Gledhill, Chairman of The Friends of Forfar Botanists, thanked the main sponsor, the Angus Environmental Trust, local businesses and the private benefactors who had made the garden come to fruition.

She also thanked Angus Councillors Lynne Devine and Glennis Middleton for their support in driving the project forward.

The site was formerly used by a local football club as changing rooms, and in the last few months has been completely transformed.

A number of obstacles have had to be overcome, including the removal of a public toilet and a telegraph pole. Taking a walk through the newly created garden, which will be further planted up in the spring, councillors Devine and Middleton stated the garden brought together a number of suggestions put forward to tidy up the area and to create a fitting memorial to the Forfar botanists. They likened the coming together of all the ideas as “serendipity”, with the project receiving interest from groups around the world including Australia, the Royal Botanics in Edinburgh and Kew Gardens in London. To mark the public opening of the garden, an exhibition on the work of the five botanists was held in the Guide Hall. Check out our video of the garden on www.forfardispatch.co.uk