Unexpected Garden – Stranraer

Unexpected Garden – Stranraer

The Unexpected Garden along the Stranraer waterfront has transformed the area and enabled local people to meet, grow, sow and share.

The Stove Network and Stranraer Development Trust’s Unexpected Garden is an invitation to residents and wider communities to come together to learn and grow. It presents an opportunity to put food growing into the heart of the community, whilst giving all local people of any age an opportunity to get involved to celebrate Stranraer’s local produce, arts, crafts, heritage and culture.

Our site isone of 12 Unexpected Gardens around Scotland, installed by creative programme Dandelion, showing that even the unlikeliest of places can bloom.

Who is Involved?

The Stove Network and Stranraer Development Trust (SDT) have partnered with Dandelion, to create the Unexpected Garden at Burns House in Stranraer. Led locally by, Emerging Creative Producer, Bethany Piggott who has worked with both the partners and community to deliver the project.

Commissioned by EventScotland and funded via the Scottish Government, Dandelion is Scotland’s contribution to UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK. 

About the Project

The Unexpected Gardens are central to Dandelion’s ambition to get everyone in Scotland sowing, growing and sharing. From the Borders to the Highlands, along Scotland’s canals to urban, rural and island locations, whether indoors or open-air, on unused or forgotten land; these gardens – created by and for local communities – will show that even the unlikeliest space can bloom.

Dandelion is an ambitious creative programme running from April to September 2022 that demonstrates the power of collective action in a major “grow-your-own” initiative. Dandelion invites everyone to sow, grow and share – not just food, but music, scientific knowledge and ideas. Rooted in Scotland, with an international outlook and sustainability at its heart, the Dandelion programme follows the arc of the growing season, from April to September 2022, and will culminate in hundreds of local Harvest events across the country.

How Can You Get Involved?

Events with Dandelion

Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival will be a celebration of community and will feature a jam-packed programme of fun, family-oriented and free activities. Whether you like to roll up your sleeves and get involved, or prefer to spectate, Harvest Festival has something for everyone.  You can find out more about Harvest Festival on the Unexpected Garden – Stranraer Facebook page or visit the Dandelion website: www.dandelion.scot.

Harvest festival is a celebration of community, suitable for all the family. FREE to attend & hosted in the Unexpected Garden – Stranraer. Here is a sneak peek of what you can expect throughout the day:

Kids Corner

13.00 – 18.00 Head to the dedicated Kids Corners for a full day of fun activities including:


Jewellery Making

13.00 – 18.00

Musical Instrument making

14.00 – 16.00

DIY t-shirt printing

16:00 – 18:00


Inflatable slide

13.00 – 18.00

Face Painting

13.00 – 18.00

Owl Magic

13.00 – 18.00 Meet Scotland’s largest owl display team.


Scarecrow Making

13.30 – 14.00, 15.00 – 15.30 & 17.30 – 18.00 Create a scarecrow using materials provided & win prizes


Playtronica Workshop with Paragon

14.00 – 15.30

Make musical instruments out of vegetables!

Fabulous Fraser

14.30 – 17.30 A fun-filled magic show packed with magic, comedy & prizes. Keep an eye out for his wonderful balloon creations!

Music Tent

Visit our music tent where you can enjoy a series of live musical performances throughout the day from 13.00 – 21.30, including sets from:

  • Paragon
  • Drum for Fun
  • Dandelion Musician in residence, Ceylan Hay of Bell Lungs
  • Kissing the Flint

Throughout the Garden

Discover magical characters as you explore the garden


14.00 – 14.30, 15.30 – 16.00 & 17.00 – 17.30:

Help the magical Bippity characters transform the ordinary into something extraordinary through dance and playful magic.

Mind Your Peas and Cues

14.35 – 14.55, 16:15 – 16:45 &17.30 – 18.00:

Join gardener, Hugh Bushey Babcock and his prize-winning, walking, talking psychic leek, Leila as they demonstrate the giant carrot chopper save a drooping rose from almost certain death.

For more information on all of the festival activity, visit our Facebook page or website: dandelion.scot

Event if you’re unable to visit one of of the Dandelion sites to participate in the Festival programme, there are still activities you can go at home to be part of and celebrate this years Harvest:

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The unexpected garden – stranraer Project is supported by