The East Neuk village of St Monans grew up around its fishing fleet and a thriving boat-building industry. Sadly, the latter ended in the 1990s and, like many harbour towns and villages in Scotland, the number of fishing boats sailing out of St Monans is now just a fraction of what it once was.
The decline robbed the harbour of much of its character and colour so, in a bid to re-boot the place, local teacher and keen gardener Win Brown struck on the idea of establishing a welly boot garden.
Starting off with her grandchildren’s outgrown Wellingtons, she was soon inundated with old boots donated by her pupils, friends and neighbours. The quirky garden took root and grew as word spread. There are now over 200 pairs, including a smaller offshoot where the kids’ wellies congregate.
During the spring and summer months, the once drab and disused western slipway is awash with colour, a profusion of pretty flowers, grasses and foliage blossoming from the worn out or outgrown wellies, many of which have been painted.
And, as well as attracting visitors to the village, the garden has not only helped the village win gold in the annual Beautiful Fife competition but also been incorporated into award-winning displays at the Chelsea Flower Show, in London, and the Scottish Garden Show, in Edinburgh.