Little Sparta is a world-famous concept garden, and is widely acknowledged as the acclaimed Scottish artist Ian Finlay’s greatest work. It is composed of a series of art installations which combine elements of horticulture, sculpture and poetry, all set within the framework of a beautifully designed natural landscape.
It’s profound, thought-provoking and often playfully funny messages are communicated through a range of different media, with individual features made from stone, wood, metal, and – this is where we come in – water.
We were initially contacted to de-silt one of their smaller ponds, but we soon discovered that they were also experiencing problems at Lochan Eck – a natural-form loch at the far end of the garden. The main outlet structure had degraded over the years, causing the loch to leak badly. We put in a bottom drain to remove the excess water, as well as a new, screened outlet structure that doesn’t block and prevents the loch from leaking.
They were also concerned about a species of Elodea that had colonized the pool and was spoiling the water’s reflective surface which they need to maintain as the reflections it generates are part of the garden design. We took these plants out using an excavator, and will continue to cut and remove them using a weed-cutting boat. We also stocked the water with brown trout from Howietoun Fishery and continue to assist with the management of the loch on an ongoing basis, maintaining the aquatic plants and monitoring the water quality.
Little Sparta is open to the public from June to September each year. See their website for details of when to visit and how to get there: http://www.littlesparta.org.uk