Trellis Conference

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Tofer and I attended the Trellis Conference at the Bield, Blackruthven,
on the fifth of March. This was my first visit; I found its olde-world
house set in woodlands an enchanting place.
After registration and coffee, there was the first presentation. This
was by Stuart Pomfret, of HMP Dumfries, who works to make prison a
restorative place for offenders. He explained to us how gardening can
assist this aim, with the help of the community.
Then Elizabeth Pilgrem told of the Social and Therapeutic Horticultural
movement. This uses gardening to positive effect in palliative care.
People in hospices work with plants and flowers in various ways;
growing miniature gardens; making planters, flower baskets and
pot-pourri. These activities increase patient well-being, and bring
freedom from pain and distress; families and carers also benefit.
Kenneth Cox, who talked about Scotland’s fruit and vegetables, gave
our first workshop; potatoes, apples and pears as well as soft fruits are
the ones most commonly produced.
After lunch and a look at the stalls – RHS and Greenspace Scotland
among them –there was a talk given by Jim McColl, horticulturist
and TV personality. Jim gave a lively account of his own career, and
answered audience questions.
Then to the last, a talk by Anthony McCluskey, Conservation Officer for
Butterfly Conservation. Anthony gave interesting info on butterflies
and bees, and what plants to grow to help our insect friends. Tofer
said we have all the flowers mentioned growing in Horner’s Plot!
Then it was onto the Shuttle Bus again, and home, after an informative
day, meeting interesting and kindly people.
Frances Fairweather