Tranquility replaces garden “eye-sore”

The completed Japanese-inspired garden at Kirkton Court.
The completed Japanese-inspired garden at Kirkton Court.

Tenants at a Kirrie retirement housing development are enjoying a more contemplative zen-type lifestyle with the completion of a Japanese-inspired garden project.

Kirkton Court secured a £250 grant from Bield, which runs the development, after tenants suggested that they transform the shrubs in the centre of the development’s garden into a beautiful green space to symbolise peace and tranquillity.

Working closely with tenants, Angus and Liz Ross, who are keen gardeners, development manager Morna McLaren and her team of staff pulled up the undergrowth and put in place numerous Japanese plants and wildlife statues.

The garden now features herons and geese, both of which are symbolic in Japanese culture, alongside a Buddha - symbolising purity - Japanese grass, rocks and a wooden bridge stretching across the centre of the circle.

Morna said the garden has improved an unattractive area of the grounds and has also gone down well with residents.

She said: “We are delighted with the new feature that has been put in place at the development.

“The original bushes and plants were becoming a bit of an eye-sore for tenants, so we were keen to do something about it.

“The garden has been very well received by tenants and is constantly commented on by visitors, which is really great.

“At Kirkton Court, we feel that these things have a positive impact on tenants because not only is it something nice for them to look at and take care of, but when the weather gets warmer, it will encourage tenants to spend time in the garden and socialise with one another.”

Bield - a registered charity - has grown from humble beginnings, starting out with one housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and services for around 20,000 older people across 23 local authority areas.