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Projects / Festivals & Events / Unexpected Gardens
 - 2022

Unexpected Gardens

Working with Dandelion, the Scotland-wide creative growing initiative, to deliver Unexpected Gardens in Moray

The Unexpected Gardens programme invited local people to share ideas, make connections and inspire new ways of thinking about growing, whilst cultivating local roots and fresh connections among residents, growers, artists and community groups.

Unexpected Gardens were grown by the local community in partnership with Findhorn Bay Arts as part of Dandelion, the Scotland-wide creative growing initiative.

Programme Highlights

Living Lanes

Participants living in lanes and closes off Forres High Street, were involved in a programme of growing events, advice sharing and edible plant giveaways. Participants regularly got together to share stories, songs and ideas for sustainable growing.

Cultivating Connections

Celebrating and collaborating with local growing groups such as Forres in Bloom, Forres Friends of Woods and Fields, Transition Town Forres, Incredible Edible and Forres Orchard.

Strawberry Sundays

Free fortnightly and family-friendly crafting sessions open to the public hosted by members of the Cultivating Connections network, led by Moray-based artists Marion Normand and Oonagh Brady.

Pop Up Pots

Open to all fortnightly pop-up events on Forres High Street, offering free plants, seeds and advice for new and established growers.

Floating Garden

An innovative floating edible garden on the Mosset Burn sponsored by Biomatrix Water Solutions which highlighted alternative approaches to land-based growing.

Musicians in Residence

Dopey Monkey responded to and created new work linked to the Unexpected Garden spaces. Musicians Danielle Price and Martin Lee Thomson originally hail from Moray.

Living Lanes Stories and Tour

Through conversations with lanes residents, poet and storyteller Margot Henderson to learn about the the secret history of the growing spaces and developed a walking tour celebrating the lanes participants.

Unexpected Gardens Portraits

Highlands-based photographer Alexander Williamson developed candid and collaborative portraits with members of the local growing community, while inviting them to share their inspiration for growing.

Harvest Celebration

A day of diverse events celebrating growing and community networks in Forres, including a Pop Up Market, Cultivating Connections networking event, and an Unexpected Ceilidh featuring the Boatshed Band.


  • Audience and volunteer attendances totalling over 1,000 people across a five month programme.
  • Active community participation of 250 people through growing partnerships.
  • 59 freelance creative professionals provided with opportunities for work.
  • 8 local growing groups, makers and producers promoted and supported through commissions, networking and space hire.

Read our Unexpected Gardens Impact Report

Unexpected Gardens In Pictures

Harvest Celebration

Dopey Monkey Soundwalk

Click on the link below to listen:

A Growing Community: Portraits by Alexander Williamson

Programme & Activities

September 2022
Enjoy live music, storytelling, talks and tours, a ceilidh and food and drink at our Unexpected Gardens Harvest Celebration.
Various locations
  • Date for Diary
June 2022
Come and have a go at potting up some edible plants on Forres High Street.
86 High Street, Forres
  • Sow Grow Share
July 2022
Get creative, make crafts and share strawberries.
Various venues around Forres
  • Get Creative

From the Blog

Funders & Partners