News: Grassroots Storytelling in Gardens Across Scotland

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

See gardens with new eyes hearing local stories of creation, history & interaction with environment

Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, in association with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, was delighted to host four garden storytelling sessions in the summer months, heralding the Storytelling Festival’s theme of Growing Stories for its 30th year, with two sessions for autumn still to come!

Families strolled through some of Scotland’s finest gardens to explore the stories they’ve kept hidden for hundreds of years. From Poolewe to East Lothian there was lots to uncover, and garden visitors were guided by the most intrepid of tale miners: storytellers.

Parents were pulled through the small gate to Dr Neil’s Garden, Edinburgh by impatient little hands looking for the storyteller. “You’ve found her” cried Nicola Wright. They set off down the well-worn picturesque paths and stood in awe at the monkey puzzle tree. Young and old left the session beaming, warmed by the May sunshine and the whittled tales of medieval medicines, feisty fairies and giants. “I can’t believe this is a thing” exclaimed one dad of two. “Where’s the next one?”

Tim Porteus spun wonderful tales from the history of Tyninghame House and The Walled Garden, East Lothian. Ancient footprints have traced the grounds at Tyninghame from lost villages and ruined churches, which Tim explored from a cosy picnic rug, exclaiming to the gathering:

“Stories do not die if told and retold, and what better place for their telling than the ground upon which they were lived and worn.”

It was a hot and busy day at Culzean Castle when Alison Galbraith brought the gardens to life, and visitors learnt about the intriguing tale of the slave Scipio who earned his freedom and some property at Culzean. Imaginations were also left to run wild with fairy bedtime tales – pssssttt, fairies love tulip petal bedding!

Visitors to Inverewe Gardens got a treat as Heather Yule regaled them with storytelling and harp playing, immersing them in folklore and music from the Poolewe area.

Two More Garden Adventures This October

There are still two chances to see gardens with new eyes, hearing local stories about their creation, history and interaction with the environment.

As leaves turn from green to golden, and t-shirts are replaced by woolly jumpers, autumnal sessions will warm the soul in arguably the most picturesque time of year for nature, with two magic in-situ storytelling sessions still to come.

At the stunning Fingask Castle in Perthshire on Thursday 11 October, storyteller Lizzie McDougall presents fascinating insights to the garden’s rich history, including story walks around the grounds, appropriately starting by the Dragon Steps!

Then explore the majestic Dalswinton House in Dumfriesshire on Sunday 21 October with storyteller John Wheeler, who will delight with insights into the maiden voyage of Britain’s first steamboat, alongside story walks exploring the garden’s plants and wildlife.

The post News: Grassroots Storytelling in Gardens Across Scotland appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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