Paisley wins new community garden in RHS Garden Day Competition

Paisley is to benefit from a new community garden inspired by its local heritage after it was named Scottish winner in the RHSGarden Day Competition.

Barshaw Park will see the creation of a new space that nods to the towns textile past for local people to enjoy, learn and garden.
On the site of a former donkey paddock, the Community Garden has been designed by landscape duo Nicola Semple and Susan Begg of Semple Begg and will be managed by volunteer collective Friends of Barshaw Park.
The design features the world-famous paisley pattern in the creation of its curved and accessible raised beds and extensive trellis work for fruit and flower training that frame the entry way and ensure an inviting and sociable space. Moveable beds, with curved undersides to sit a wheelchair under comfortably and provide much needed versatility in a community space, will be made from local distilleriesrecycled barrels.
The space will be framed on all sides by a combination of log wall for insects, espalier fruit trees of local varieties and edible hedges with Scottish berries. Natural composting, wormery and extensive rainwater collection underpin the gardens green credentials.
Friends of Barshaw Park will run a series of workshops from the space, such as the harvesting and cooking of crops, promote a gardening buddy system to help with hands on learning and operate a tool library, filled with equipment, to inspire and facilitate gardening beyond the confines of the site. Local people will also be able to take home fresh produce and cut flowers grown in the garden.
Paisley is one of four areas in each of the UKs home nations to receive funding for a community garden as part of the RHS Garden Day Competition. Unveiled on BBC Ones The One Show by JJ Chalmers, Paisley joins Huntingdon in England, Randalstown in Northern Ireland and Foregside in Wales who have been announced so far.
All four gardens will go on to receive an additional £15,000 over the course of the next three years for investment in the garden and groupswork with the community.
The gardens will be celebrated on Garden Day – 2nd May – which kick-starts National Gardening Week.
Irene McDonald, Chair of Friends of Barshaw Park, added:Community gardens are all too often formal affairs, fenced off from the very people wanting to access them. The redevelopment of our space prioritises creating a warm welcome with benches for socialising, or simply observing, with fragrant, colourful climbers for inspiration and relaxation. The moveability and versatility of the raised and border beds means everyone should have the chance to learn and bestow new gardening skills in Barshaw Park and were excited to open it to the public this Spring.”
Angela Smith, RHS Development Officer for Scotland, said:Friends of Barshaw Park are an energising and inspiring group of gardeners who are helping to restore their namesake space to its former glory. The creation of a new community garden will serve as a local hub, enabling the group to even more freely share their skills with residents and inspire many more people to get growing.”
For more information about the Garden Day Competition, Garden Day and National Gardening Week visit
For more information please contact Laura Scruby in the RHS press office: [email protected]/ 07734962395

Notes to editors

About the RHS

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) was founded in 1804 and is the UKs largest gardening charity.
The RHS vision is to enrich everyones life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place via its inspirational gardens and shows, science research and advisory, extensive library collections and far-reaching education and community programmes. With over 600,000 members the RHS also shares its horticultural knowledge and expertise with millions of people every year through its website and publications.
In 2021, the RHS launched its Sustainability Strategy, committing to be net positive for nature and people by 2030. The supporting RHS Planet-Friendly Gardening Campaign will continue to harness the power of the UKs 30 million gardeners to help tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis.
We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.
For more information visit
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.