Planting areas of the Gardens
The Ballet Border
In 2009, Scottish Ballet commissioned the Hidden Gardens to design a planting scheme to not only celebrate Scottish’s Ballets 40th anniversary, but also to mark their arrival to their new home at Tramway complex. The planting design took inspiration from the company’s dazzling performance of ‘Rubies’ choreographed by George Balanchine. A key design feature is structural evergreen planting with ‘Ruby’ like flowers, berries and stalks showcased especially over the winter months. Plants include Hamamelis ‘Diane’, Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ and Skimmia rubella. In early spring, the graceful flowers of Helleborous emerge, followed by delicate tulips such as ‘Danceline’ and ‘Elegant Lady’.
Optimum time to visit the Ballet Border is Winter/Early Spring.
The Herb Border
This sensory border consists of both medicinal and culinary herbs such as Allium schoenoprasum, Artemisa ‘Powis Castle’, Chamaemelum nobile ‘Flore Pleno’, Foeniculum vulgare, Melissa officinalis, Nepeta mussini, Oenothera fruticosa ‘Erica Robins’, Origanum vulgare, Rosmarinus officinalis, Symphytum officinale and Thymus. At any time of the year herbs make a great sensory experience for any visitor, especially good to ‘touch’, ‘taste’ and ‘smell’. There are also interesting interpretative plant labels in this border designed by the artist Gerry Loose.
Optimum time to visit the Herb Border, anytime of year, flowers at their best in Summer.
The wildlife area of the Gardens provides an excellent focus for both native and non native plants within the Gardens. Rich in biodiversity, the planting is not only a source of food for wildlife, it also provides roosting and shelter for insects, mammals and birds. The site is informal in style with many native Birch and Willow trees providing a shady green canopy to this area. Stones are placed throughout the site for visitors to sit and quietly watch many of the Gardens birds feeding from feeders and drinking from the bird baths. Plants in this area include: Juniperus, Ribes sanguineum, Carex pendula, Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’, Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’, Cotoneaster horizontalis, Iris foetidissima, Taxus baccata, Anemone nemorosa, Omphalodes verna, Brunnera macrophylla, Gallium odoratum, Lysimachia, Lythrum salicaria and many varieties of Primula’s and Grasses.
Optimum time to visit the Bee and Butterfly Border is Spring.
The Bee and Butterfly Border
In 2010, we developed our new Bee and Butterfly border. The plants within the scheme, consist of native and non native plants especially rich in nectar and pollen from early spring until late autumn providing a rich food source for all 6 varieties of bees and many species of butterflies. The upper planting plan showcases plants such as Eryngium, Monarda, Stachys officinalis, Salvia, Verbena bonariensis and Eupatorium. In contrast, the lower planting area consists of many varieties of the Mint family. These include, Nepeta subsessilis, Mentha spicata Crispa, Mentha suaveolens ‘Variegata’, Mentha x piperita ‘Grapefruit’, ‘Basil’ and ‘Chocolate’. The planting bed itself is constructed of reclaimed materials such as logs, and stones within the gabion baskets providing an excellent habitat site for many insects and invertebrates. There is also a small seating area within the Border, where visitors can stop, relax and enjoy the natural surroundings of the wildlife area.
Optimum time to visit the Bee and Butterfly Border is late Summer.
The Meadow Area
Our meadow area opened to the public on 17 September 2011. The meadow is a naturalistic area of the Gardens, providing a rich food source for bees and butterflies. The ‘Nectar Rich’ meadow mix includes a variety annuals such as Centaurea cyanus, Chrysanthemum segetum, Papaver rhoes and Tripleurospermum inadorum. Biennials include Dacus carota, Dipsacus fullonum, Echium vulgare. The perennials will include Achillea millefolium, Knautia arvensis, Leucanthemum vulgare, Lychnis flos-cuculi, Silene alba, Silene diocia, Stachys sylvatica and Trifolium pratensis. Structure will be provided over the winter months from the evergreen grasses. Seed heads from spent flowers will also be retained, providing structure as well as a food source for birds. Umbellifer shaped flower heads such as Anthriscus ravenswing, Ammi majus and Orlaya grandiflora gives the meadow strong architectural structure and form. Interpretation panels are displayed on site, providing the visitor with information on wildlife and biodiversity within the meadow site.
Optimum time to visit the Meadow Area is Summer-Autumn.
The White Wall Border
The planting design in the white wall border next to the Boilerhouse takes inspiration from prairie style planting. A mixture of grasses, herbaceous and bulbs the style is informal and naturalistic. Plants include Sanguisorba menziesii, many varieties of Thalictrum and Alliums, Persicaria, Astrantia, Stipa arundinacea as well as the ever popular Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpurem’ –bees love it! as do butterflies.
The white wall itself has a variety of climbers such as Jasminum officinale, Wisteria floribunda, Clematis montana and espaliers fruits.
Optimum time to visit the White all Border is Summer.
The Medicinal and Culinary Courtyard
The courtyard has a wide variety of plants that have both medicinal and culinary properties. The courtyard area is a place of healing and quiet relaxation where the informal planting provides a green backdrop to this enclosed courtyard area.
Some of the medicinal plants include:
Passiflora, uses: anxiety, depression and nerve pain
Salvia officinalis, uses: sore throats
Echinacea purpurea, uses: colds, flu, healing of wounds
Vinca major, uses: tinnitus, chilblains, nosebleeds
Hypericum, uses: shingles, depression, sciatica
Solidago, uses: Diuretic, water retention, kidney tonic
Viola tricolor, uses: eczema, acne
Culinary plants are seasonal and change on an annual basis according to the Gardens annual growing plan.
Optimum time to visit the Medicinal and Culinary Courtyard is Summer.