What is it Like to Volunteer with Scotland’s Gardens Scheme?
Our organisation is powered by volunteers, from Garden Openers, to District Volunteers, to photographers, to those who help with publicity and social media. They are a team of fantastic, hardworking and skilled people. You can meet and chat with many of them during garden openings. Meanwhile, read about some of their volunteering experiences on our blog.
Sent by Pamela Crosbie, Garden Opener at Dalswinton Mill
Some years ago, there was an address book published by SGS and Owners and Volunteers wrote snippets. I particularly remember one snippet about a garden sign saying ‘beware of the agapanthus’ (rather rare at that time).
Rose-Ann, Ayrshire & Arran District Organiser
When I went to meet Ken Kennedy, the head gardener at Portmore after they had closed for the season and to pick up our marketing sign, I walked into the Potting shed and there was a birthday cake and napkins set out on the table. Normally visitors are invited to make their own drinks in here from a selection provided next to the urn. A donation box sits next to it and usually some small packs of biscuits.
Assuming that the cake was for the staff I walked out and continued my search for Ken eventually finding him by the greenhouse. While we were chatting, he told me that a lady had phoned up the house. They had visited before and realised that the garden was now closed but wondered if it was possible to bring her husband and some friends along. She had loved the garden so much and really wanted him to see it. Also, it was his birthday!
I didn’t know at the time but discovered later that this lady was Fiona Jack one of our new Garden Openers whose garden, The Pines, I have just registered for next year. She told me that the cake was a complete surprise so it must have been Chrissie Reid and Ken’s idea! Definitely going above and beyond.
Lesley McDavid, Peebleshire & Tweedale District Organiser
Thanks to our volunteers, there are around 500 gardens to visit each year. Hundreds of charities across Scotland benefit from the money raised each year at our garden openings, plant sales and refreshment stands.
Does this sound like something you would enjoy doing? There are many ways to get involved: you could join a local committee, become a Treasurer, help us with social media and publicity, photograph our gardens, serve tea and cake at one of our open days or distribute posters.
If you are thinking of volunteering with us, we want to hear from you. Please contact us at 0131 2263714 or email our Volunteers Manager, Julie Golding at firstname.lastname@example.org.