A new face in the gardens

Warmest wishes to our community for 2024, we look forward to welcoming you to the gardens for everything we have planned this year. In this blog post our new Community Programme Manager, Mo Odling(she/they), introduces themselves and their role in the gardens.

Mo with her favourite Hidden Gardens tree, the Bhutan Pine.

Hello Hidden Gardens friends! As a newly settled resident in Polloksheilds, joining The Hidden Gardens team has given me the great privilege of living and working in the same community. I am exploring the gardens as a newcomer, having recently returned to Scotland from the Republic of Ireland, where I lived in Cork city for the past couple of years. I’m enjoying taking time to get to know the pathways, plants and friendly faces which populate the gardens. It feels significant to be here, at the beginning of my first year as Community Programme Manager in 2024.

My background is in community engagement and visual art. I have a social practice; I make artist books and publications, primarily in collaboration with others. In my role here in The Hidden Gardens I will be focusing on creating opportunities for local people to come into the space and be inspired by the collaboration humans and nature. Finding interesting and fun ways to explore all The Hidden Gardens stand for. It is great to be working to continue the legacy of the community programme, whilst adding my own perspective to the projects and events which we host.

Mo with filmmaker Annie Butcher, protecting camera equipment from inclement weather.

I often find myself feeling overwhelmed by the current state of the world, not least of which the cycle of crises across the globe, the climate emergency and the myriad of other pressures and inequalities. It can feel as though any individual action is insignificant by comparison. However, when I walk around The Hidden Gardens and take a visit to my favourite tree (pictured above, the beautiful Bhutan Pine!) it reminds me that there are important actions we can take. Urban green spaces play a pivotal role in fostering and preserving our natural diversity, offering a haven for a multitude of plant and animal species. By nurturing pockets of natural habitat in the city spaces, we not only sustain the non-human world but also our wellbeing and quality of life. The Hidden Gardens stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature and the city. It reminds us that our actions and connections, matter.

Sarcococca, common name: Sweet box is another favourite of Mo’s for its sweet perfume in winter months.

It has been a warm welcome, and I have been struck by the variety and prevalence of community action in the southside of Glasgow. I’m really proud to be part of a strong and diverse community working in so many ways toward positive change for all. I look forward to meeting everyone in The Hidden Gardens community over the coming months, where we can discuss, experiment, take notice and celebrate together.

To learn more about the Community Programme you can contact Mo on mo@thehiddengardens.org.uk