Being based in the village, we have been delighted to have been involved in the project from its initial concept right through the funding process and throughout the build and are thrilled to be able to give something back to the community for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Since the controversial new toilet block was finally completed in Bridge of Allan, the space around it, known as Provost’s Park, had largely been left untouched and was a sad space in an otherwise beautiful and prosperous village. The Provost’s Lamp had been renovated and given a new life but its surroundings had yet to be brought up to the same standard.
We were approached in late 2010 to discuss the possibility of being involved in the renovation of Provost Park. As a local company based in Bridge of Allan, we were delighted to be able to provide advice and designs for the benefit of the community.
Initially, Michael and Jill Burt met with some of the Community Council to discuss the project. Jill recalls:
“It was in the middle of a cold snap in the winter of 2010 when we first met up Gavin Drummond and Liz Rankin from the Community Council. They were putting up the village Christmas tree in the park to try and add some sparkle to what was otherwise an uninspiring space. At least the thick covering of snow hid the lack of interest underneath! At the meeting Liz and Gavin discussed some of the ideas that had been considered for the space and asked if we were able to pull together some thoughts.”
Jill explains the inspiration for the design:
“There were three main requirements which jumped out at us from the outset. Firstly, the community required a practical area where they can relax and enjoy the world going by. The space needed to be usable by everyone in the community whether that’s families, couples or elderly so path widths and surfaces were important. Plentiful seating was clearly important too. Secondly, the area had to look good. The Friends of Bridge of Allan, who look after many of Bridge of Allan’s public gardens, carry out fantastic work in the community and Provost’s Park has been a contentious issue for some time. We were keen to design a space that the community could all be proud of and be happy to use. It’s a great space, right in the middle of the village so it needed to have the “wow factor” and be fitting of its focal point in such an attractive village. Lastly, we were keen to reflect the Victorian inspiration which surrounds the park and the spa village and design a garden which would be appropriate for the space.
“The main focal point for the design is a stunning, cast iron gazebo, situated in the centre of the formal gardens. Victorians loved symmetry and topiary so we made sure these were key features of the space. Vintage style bricks edge wide pathways suitable for all members of the community. Decorative metal screens surround the toilet block providing a nicer backdrop to the gardens and include details inspired by the village itself. In the corner closest to the toilets, an ecclesiastical garden has been created, reflecting the park once being the site of a church. Liz managed to obtain beautiful pew benches from one of the village churches which sit in this area looking onto a centre bed of perfumed plants. The central focal point of this area is the existing stone fountain.
The wall which runs the length of Provost Park will boast new interpretation boards highlighting some of the key features and historical information about Bridge of Allan. To the front of the park, a grassy area has been included, allowing space to sit out and relax and watch the world passing by.
The official opening will take place on Sunday 28th September 2014 from 3pm. The official opening will be undertaken by Gavin Drummond and our very own Lulu Burt. There will be music from Beaconhurst School and dancers from Dance Connections. Malcolm Allan will be giving a short talk on the Park and there will be refreshments, a slideshow and a performance by Dance Connections in the Parish Church afterwards. All are very welcome and we hope you can join us to celebrate this wonderful project.
You can read more about Provost’s Park and our other garden transformations on our website.
All at Vialii
Happy new year to all our lovely readers. As we move forward into 2014, we take a moment to have a review of 2013 and some of the highlights for Vialii and the trends that we saw…
2013 saw our clients wholeheartedly embrace the outdoor room. From designer offices to simpler summerhouses we had several clients wanting to introduce outdoor living areas into their gardens. One of our favourites was this custom built garden pod which provided shelter from the rain and prevailing wind whilst still making you feel part of the garden. And with two more garden rooms already lined up for 2014 this trend doesn’t look like it’s going away…
Our very own Lulu started up her own gardening blog for our sister company Vialii Garden Services in 2013. She puts us at VGD to shame with her regular, fun and educational blogs on all aspects of gardening. Click here to catch up on what’s happening in Lulu’s Garden…
2013 saw us being involved in two community garden projects. Our design of Provost’s Park in Bridge of Allan finally came to life in October and we completed our designs for the Jupiter Urban Wildlife Garden too. It was an honour to be involved in both projects and we look forward to spending time in both gardens in 2014.
Our talented Vialii team sprouted new buds and grew well in 2013. Corrie and Gordon were joined by Neil on the maintenance side while both Connor and Kenny came on board for VGD in 2013. Jill also officially joined Michael working in the business in 2013 and with Lulu busily blogging away, Vialii became a true family business. We look forward to the team growing from strength to strength in 2014.
From a garden in Glasgow featuring lots of upcycled items, our own upcycled products made from old pallets to the “Upcycled Garden” for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, 2013 was the year for making the most of what you had.
Well to be honest, every year is packed full of garden visits at Vialii Towers and 2013 was no exception. From Glendoick and Branklyn to Logan and Alnwick we had our fair share of wonderful gardens in 2013, not to mention the wonderful centenary of the Chelsea Flower Show.
We laid many new lawns with artificial turf last year – whilst it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the quality these days is great and can be a wonderful solution for gardens with issues with soil and light and for those with children and/or dogs.
OK, the start of the year was pretty miserable but who cares when we get such a glorious summer?! The long, hot sunny days were wonderful for sitting enjoying gardens but also a lovely change when working outside building them too! Here’s hoping to a repeat in 2014!
So, there you have it, 2013 in a nutshell (or a blog!) Here’s hoping that 2014 is as much fun.
Happy 2014 everyone.
From all at Vialii