Larbert gardener creates ‘Little Sparta’ in his own back yard

Cameron Cunningham (right) and Bill Morrison have created a mini 'Little Sparta'. PICTURE: Lisa McPhillips (131942)
Cameron Cunningham (right) and Bill Morrison have created a mini 'Little Sparta'. PICTURE: Lisa McPhillips (131942)

A garden “to make you think” based on a well known Scots attraction is open to the public in Larbert to raise money for a children’s charity.

Cameron Cunningham (76) has cultivated his quarter-acre garden, turning it into a mini-version of Ian Hamilton Finlay’s ‘Little Sparta’ which borders Edinburgh’s Pentland Hills and features Roman, woodland and wild gardens, monuments and sculptures totalling 270 artworks.

The former health professional said: “There are 19 different things going on in the garden and I call it ‘Echoes of Little Sparta’. It’s a garden that I want to make you think about, not just something to look at.

“One of the areas is all about dead-looking plants to make people think about what mankind is doing to the environment. It’s not a normal kind of garden.”

He added: “I’ve always been a keen gardener. My friend Bill Morrison, who did most of the work in the garden, and I grow around 2500 bedding plants a year. I’d say we were gifted amateurs.

“This will be my third year opening it up to CHAS, a charity whose work I’ve always appreciated as I have worked with children with life-limiting conditions.”

One of the themes in Mr Cunningham’s garden is the Three Billygoats Gruff, which has a four-foot troll, specially carved in the Black Isle.

CHAS fundraiser Amy Telford said: “We’re very grateful to Cameron for his continued support. Opening up your garden to visitors is a lovely way to encourage donations to CHAS.

“At our hospices, it’s fantastic to see the smiles on the children’s faces when they’re able to spend time enjoying our gardens and it’s great to think that Cameron’s sharing his with the community.”

To arrange a viewing phone (01324) 555505.