Unexpected Garden


And just like that our Unexpected Garden project has drawn to a close. What a blast we’ve had and we’re so grateful to everyone that came out to support the project.

We’re gutted we couldn’t bring you the Harvest Festival as we had planned but we hope to reschedule some things later in the year.

We have a list of thank yous to make. We couldn’t have done this project without the help of so many local people and businesses…

D Stevens & Son
Seaview Hotel
Wick Youth Club
Wick Bowling club
Thurso Community Development Trust
Thurso Grows/Ormlie Community Garden
Highlife Highland
Thurso community kitchen
Mey Games
John o’Groats Brewery
GMR Henderson

The biggest thank you goes out to everyone that attended an Unexpected Garden event – you made our Summer!

Please keep an eye on our socials for any updates about rescheduled events.


The LAC team x


Lyth Arts Centre sends our condolences to members of the Royal Family at the news of the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
This weekend marks the moment of Harvest when, with many others across Scotland, we were due to come together to share the results of what we have grown and created this year at our Unexpected Garden. 

Following guidance from Highland Council, the Caithness Harvest Festival will not take place this weekend. We understand this will be a disappointment for many and are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. We hope to reschedule some of our planned activities so please keep an eye out for updates.


If anyone fancies a wander around the garden, it will be open until Sunday evening with free food and flowers available to take home.




We’re delighted to announce the final phase of our Unexpected Garden – please join us for our Harvest Festival!

Taking place over a long weekend (Friday 9 – Sunday 11 Sept) we’d like to welcome you to a free weekend of shows and events!

Taking place at Olrig Street Gardens in Thurso, we’ll see you there!




Join Dandelion’s Cubes Bike Tour across Scotland this summer.

A touring fleet of cargo bikes displaying Dandelion’s growing cubes – miniature vertical farms – will travel the Highlands and Lowlands throughout August. Four custom-made, electrically assisted bikes – each carrying a cube – will visit ten towns and cities, stopping at school playgrounds, green spaces, Unexpected Gardens and town centres, encouraging everyone to sow, grow and share food, but also music, knowledge and ideas. They’ll be giving away free seed packets so that everyone can grow their own herbs at home, and find out more about our Harvest celebrations in September.

At each stop, the cubes will play music specially commissioned for Dandelion by Scottish and international artists, including Vendanth Bharadwaj, Arooj Aftab & Maeve Gilchrist, Fergus McCreadie, Ravi Bandhu, Trio Da Kali, and amiina & Kathleen MacInnes. Featuring programmable, immersive lighting integrated with quadraphonic speaker systems designed to best showcase the new music playing from the cubes. Local dates listed below…

Friday 26 August | Wick – MORE INFO

Saturday 27 August | Thurso – MORE INFO
+ music from Caitlin Forbes and Richard Smith

Dandelion is commissioned by EventScotland, funded by the Scottish Government and is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK. The bikes were commissioned for Dandelion by Sustrans. The Cube Bikes Tour route will follow the National Cycle Network where available.






Yesterday the garden made its final stop at Olrig Street Gardens in Thurso! Feel free to come in for a wander, chat to our garden staff or grab an activity booklet for the kids.

The garden is open for people to come along and peruse at their leisure and perhaps sample some of the delights that our garden has to offer. Our staff will be on hand to answer any questions on the days listed below.

  • Tuesday to Saturday | 9am – 5pm

Watch the take down and set up of our Unexpected Garden below…

Garden move – 720WebShareName

To book for an Unexpected Garden event, please click here



Unexpected Garden at the Rosebank, Wick!

We’re delighted to be set up in Wick for the next month at the Rosebank Playing Fields! The garden is open for people to come along and peruse at their leisure and perhaps sample some of the delights that our garden has to offer. Opening times are as follows-

  • Tuesday to Saturday | 9am – 5pm
  • Entry from Bankhead (next to old Medical Centre)

Feel free to come in for a wander, chat to our garden staff or grab an activity booklet for the kids.

To book for an Unexpected Garden event, please click here

Updates on the garden can be viewed below…




Our travelling growing space will depart from LAC later this week and make its way North to the first location of it’s Caithness tour – John O’Groats!

The garden will be on display in John O’Groats for 3 weeks before heading off to its next location. During its stay, there will be various different opportunities to get involved.

Join us this weekend for a look around the garden and some seed paper making workshops!




Our Unexpected Garden is ready to hit the road! Our mobile growing space will tour the Caithness countryside bringing the plants to the people! Watch below…



The garden will start touring later this month, see a list of dates below…

  • John O’Groats | Sat 28 May – Sat 18 June
  • Lybster | Tue 21 June – Sun 10 July
  • Wick (Rosebank) – Fri 15 July – Sat 13 August
  • Thurso – Tue 16 August – Sun 11 September

With exciting plans for families, schools, gigs and more, keep your eyes peeled for further information!




Today marks the official launch of the Dandelion Unexpected Garden programme and the start of their growing season! Discover more at: www.dandelion.scot

Yesterday we did some more work to our mobile garden so that its can begin its journey around Caithness, dates of where you can see the garden will be announced next week so keep your eyes peeled on our socials.

See some images below of how the garden is taking shape…


UG - Build day 28 April




Earlier this week, our ex-Tesco lorry was delivered to LAC courtesy of D. Stevens & Sons and we also managed to source some lovely reclaimed tattle boxes from the fine folk at Charleston Farm.

The full LAC team were out in force despite the rain cleaning the lorry top to tail and repurposing the tattle boxes into bespoke planters to become part of our travelling garden!

See some images from the day below…


UG build day





We’re very excited to announce that Darren Coghill will be our Musician In Residence as part of our Unexpected Garden project. More information on Darren below…

Darren Coghill is a drummer, songwriter & general music maker born & brought up in the top corner of Scotland and still resides on the northern shoreline of John O’Groats. Although music life began on drums in the local Pipe Band, by his mid teens he was fortunate enough to be touring the UK & Europe playing Country & Western music with his father’s band.

However, as Darren’s journey evolved he gravitated towards songwriting & popular music, most notably with the band Neon Waltz. During the past decade he has released music via Universal, Atlantic Records, BMG & Ignition Records and is currently working on a number of albums & recording projects in 2022.

Darren will respond to, and create work linked to our new garden that will tour around Caithness this Summer.


Darren Coghill


Much excitement this morning as our mobile garden (ex-Tesco lorry) arrived in Scrabster, thanks to the very reliable D Steven & Son! Lot’s of measuring and planning to be done as this will soon become our mobile ‘Unexpected Garden’ that will travel around Caithness.

We also visited our garden nursery to check on sprouting shoots and plant some new hopefuls. Have a scroll through the album below to see this morning’s progress…


UG - Trailer and planting

We are delighted to be collaborating with Thurso Community Development Trust who are kindly renting us one of their newly acquired greenhouses for us to use as a nursery before plants make the leap to the Unexpected Garden.

Things are coming on nicely with the expert help of their Climate Action Senior Development Officer Sharon. As it stands, we planted 1500 seedling so far!



LAC are delighted to host one of 12 Unexpected Gardens around Scotland, installed by creative arts programme Dandelion, showing that even the unlikeliest of places can bloom!

Our Unexpected Garden will take the garden to the people! A curtain-sider trailer converted into an innovative growing space will tour to 4-5 sites across Caithness.

On arrival at each site, the raised beds and planters will roll off the trailer to create a garden and audience area. The trailer will become a performance and workshop space, offering seating and integrated lighting/electricals allowing the gardens to be brought into the heart of each community. Each site will also offer the chance to ‘dig in’ and create more permanent planting.

We hope to create a cyclical growing pattern where communities across the county grow food for each other. We’ll explore where our food comes from, how it’s transported, and try some experimental approaches to cultivating vegetables.


Commissioned by EventScotland and funded via the Scottish Government, Dandelion is Scotland’s contribution to UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a nationwide programme of creative events and engagement. Driven by the concept of ‘Sow, Grow, Share’ – not just food but ideas, music, scientific knowledge, and community – Dandelion takes a unique approach to growing.

Bringing together artists, scientists, performers, and technologists to present events and programmes throughout Scotland, including the Unexpected Gardens, Dandelion will culminate in hundreds of harvest celebrations later this year.

Bringing new life to community libraries, car parks and even tidal sites from the Western Isles to the Borders, the Unexpected Gardens are set to be a highlight of Dandelion, taking place from April to September 2022.