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Ardencraig nursery to re-open – but plants only for Bute

By Gordon Neish
Ardencraig nursery to re-open – but plants only for Bute
Ardencraig Garden

Today (Thursday) councillors agreed to reopen the nursery at Rothesay’s Ardencraig Gardens – but only to grow plants for the isle of Bute.

Argyll and Bute councillors agreed that elsewhere in the region summer bedding plants are to be bought in.

An officer had recommended that one of the authority’s key committees should agree to plant out all of the area’s existing flower beds with perennials or shrubs.

But a councillor hit out at the plan, saying he could not support it, before another councillor put forward an alternative motion.

Community groups will also be spoken to about the maintenance of floral displays in all areas of the authority.

The discussion took place at a meeting of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee today – Thursday, August 31.

In a document, the proposal to use perennial plants stated: “Plants remain all year round with varying displays. In winter months particularly perennials will brighten up the bedding areas which would be empty with only bare soil with the existing annual planting.

“Utilise staff on keeping beds tidy rather than annual planting, providing improved resilience.”

However, the report was only issued two days before the meeting, and South Kintyre SNP councillor John Armour said: “Getting the report two days before the meeting does not give us ample time, especially with so many options to go through.

“I have been in meetings every day this week and do not have the time to give this the scrutiny it needs.

“Had I had this last week, there would have been time to go out and speak to community groups and councils.

“It says here to stock flower beds everywhere except Rothesay with perennials, and to me that is unacceptable. The displays we have in Campbeltown every summer are a credit to the council staff who do them.

“There will be absolute uproar if these are turned to perennials, and I could not support this in any way.”

Councillor Ross Moreland (Liberal Democrat, Dunoon) then put forward a motion asking the committee to agree to re-open the Ardencraig growing facility to serve the Isle of Bute.

His motion also recommends that the authority continue to purchase summer bedding plants for all other areas of Argyll and Bute, and continue to engage with community groups across the area to take over their maintenance.

The motion also asked the committee to: “Recommend to the council that, as implementation of these measures are estimated to require additional revenue funding of £7,500 within 2023/24, this is funded from the unallocated general fund and built into the budget outlook estimates for future years.”

Councillor Peter Wallace (Conservative, Isle of Bute) seconded the motion, which was unanimously agreed.



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