The Strynd Nursery garden


The Strynd nursery is located within the heart of the conservation area in Kirkwall with St Magnus Cathedral as a neighbour. 59 degrees north was approached to redesign the garden to improve drainage and the playspace as a whole.

Proposals are based on unique qualities of nursery garden - shelter by existing stone walls and established trees, the hidden 'secret' character of the garden set in heart of Kirkwall's historic townscape. It is proposed these qualities are enhanced with garden opening up to children in a series of spaces encouraging exploration.

Imaginative play to be promoted with various different areas of play:
Willow tunnels formed as childrens entrance to garden leading to fairy toadstool circle.
Fairy toadstool circle with covered fire pit and 'giants' chair acts a central focal point in garden. This area can be used to gather and form and outdoor classroom or place for eating with fire pit cover acting as a table. Fairy toadstool to be made of carved stone and numbered with corresponding spots to help counting skills. 

A 'dry' stream bed will be formed weaving through garden to solve existing drainage issues which will run into a wetalnd area at bottom of garden and also tell the story of how plants grow. Stainless steel hand powered water pump will feed 'stream' which will pass elements of growth: large stone carved acorn sculpture, flagstone bridge with carved sun, flagstone bridge with carved raindrops, flagstone bridge carved to show a seedling pushing through the earth and an 'island' formed with oak sapling planted and a smaller stone acorn sculpture as cycles begins again. 

A new sandplay area with slide hill enhanced for scrambling and running. The sandplay will include beach boulders, fine sand, shell sand and grit sand to allow exploration of different textures. 

Small timber fairy doors to be placed on trunks of existing trees to form fairy houses.
Sculptures placed around garden to add to enchanted quality of garden.
Paths formed to allow access to different parts of garden and provide scope for bikes and scooters etc.   

The project has gained consent for proposed works, including tree protection issues, from Orkney Islands Council planning department and works are set to start. The project is a design and build project.

Existing Strynd nursery garden
fairy toadstool 001
stream of life 001