Gordon Brown memorial garden
The garden is a quiet haven located in the heart of the seaside town of Troon in South Ayrshire. The garden was transformed from a traditional civic open space to a more modern, accessible garden to commemorate the life of the late international rugby player, Gordon Brown.
Gordon was known locally as 'Broon frae Troon'. Local businesses and organisations, together with the Local Authority and Gordon's family, contributed to the cost of the project.
The garden was designed using Feng Shui principles. A new entrance with an archway was created facing the sea at the front of the garden to bring energy into the space. Evergreen shrubs such as Griselinia, Viburnum tinus, Rosmarinus, Ozothamnus, Senecio and Euphorbia have been planted to support positive energy throughout the year.
Other Feng Shui principles were applied in the design of the garden and in the planting scheme. The garden has many good qualities and features but the garden's greatest attributes are tranquillity, peacefulness, and a sense of enclosure.
Being in the garden feels 'safe'. The garden was designed to be accessible to all and many different kinds of people enjoy visiting. It is very pleasant to sit and listen to the sound of running water, the rustling of bamboos and the bees buzzing around the lavender.
It is also enjoyable to watch birds bathing in and drinking from the water feature. There are also interpretation boards within the garden. The texture of the planting is varied and many plants are scented.
The garden also has the benefit of the smell of the natural sea air. There are many tactile, non botanical features in the garden including wooden upright structures, a life size bronze rugby ball and 3 specially commissioned wooden seats.
Each seat was designed to reflect some of Gordon's attributes through the association which different types of wood have with Gaelic mythology.
The 'Little Seat' is the highest to sit on and makes you feel small. This is made from ash, which represents strength and control in all aspects of life.
The central 'Tower of Strength Seat is made from oak, which represents strength, foundation, endurance and triumph. This seat hugs your back and makes you feel safe.
The 'Big Seat' is the smallest and makes you feel big. It is made from elm, which is associated with high aspirations and the desire to achieve. The twist in the back of the seat represents the unexpected twist in life.
The garden has something for everybody and is simply an enjoyable space to be. The camaraderie involved in the creation of the garden has made the project a pleasure for all of the individuals, organisations and businesses involved.