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Appreciating Gardens in Winter

We are desperately looking forward to Spring, and signs are just around the corner. With snowdrops popping through the ground and buds appearing on bare branches. However February is still a winter month, and it is a good time to spend a few moments appreciating what makes gardens special in winter, and maybe plan a […]

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We are desperately looking forward to Spring, and signs are just around the corner. With snowdrops popping through the ground and buds appearing on bare branches. However February is still a winter month, and it is a good time to spend a few moments appreciating what makes gardens special in winter, and maybe plan a few changes to add interest for next winter.

Evergreens are an obvious group of plants to add structure and there are many examples around The Hidden Gardens. The Ballet border is lined by low clipped hedging of Cotoneaster and Gaultheria. Both of which provide winter berries to keep the blackbirds happy.

The red-stemmed Gaultheria compliments the crimson red of the Skimmia buds at this time of year. Before they open up in late spring to give a display of fragrant white flowers loved by bees. Contrasting leaf shape and texture is another way add interest, keep your eyes open for inspiration while on your daily walks.

Rosemary, Euphorbia and Thyme in the patio planters

Many herbs such as rosemary and thyme are evergreen and have the added bonus of a waft of scent as you brush past them. Or pick a few sprigs to give dinnertime a connection with the garden even in winter. These plants are happy to be grown in pots on a windowsill or back court provided you give them good drainage, with holes in the bottom of pots and a gritty compost. Their roots hate being cold and wet over winter.

Spidery Witch hazel flowers against the dark green Pine, P. mugo

Flowers may be less abundant and showy in the winter months but the early blooms are all the more appreciated for their splashes of colour. They are also important stashes of pollen for any early emerging pollinating insects. The spidery yellow witch hazel flowers are beautiful, contrasting with the dark green of the dwarf pines.

Espalier pears and apples along the White Wall Border

The stark tree trunks and branches of the espalier fruit trees add form to the white wall border, and allow a glimpse of the old factory wall, usually obscured by an abundant growth of climbing clematis and vigorous vines.

Beech hedge
White Birch, Betula utilis var jacquemontii

Trees devoid of leaves draw our attention to the patterned bark. While others hold onto their autumnal leaves until spring, giving winter colour in the beech hedge, and somewhere for the robins, tits and dunnocks to shelter.

We don’t cut back our perennials until towards the end of winter, leaving seedheads for birds, and nooks and crannies for overwintering ladybirds and hibernating insects. Plus they look fabulous on a sunny, frosty morning.

And this is the time to begin enjoying bulbs, with the snowdrops appearing through the leaf litter. Crocus and iris will follow shortly, then the daffodils and alliums and tulips. Although it’s not the time to plant bulbs, this is very much the time to make notes of where you have gaps and spaces in your planting and plan bursts of colour for next Spring. The bare borders will soon fill with summer growth and you’ll find it hard to imagine there’s space for more plants. But I see some spaces in the border next to our office entrance and I definitely want to be watching some snowdrops appearing there this time next year!

Paula
Head Gardener

Hidden Haiku

When you take your daily exercise why not include The Hidden Gardens – it’s a quiet, peaceful, inspirational oasis. If you feel inspired, why not have a go at writing a simple Haiku poem when you get home. This activity is suitable for all ages.

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When you take your daily exercise why not include The Hidden Gardens – it’s a quiet, peaceful, inspirational oasis. If you feel inspired, why not have a go at writing a simple Haiku poem when you get home. This activity is suitable for all ages.

Cultural Cookery Recipe Book Nov- Dec 2020

Check out our latest Cultural Cookery Recipe Book with warming winter recipes from all over the world. And they are all vegetarian! You can watch all the Cultural Cookery Show episodes here on Facebook and cook along at home. Learn how to make the recipes and top cooking tips. Recipes; Borscht and Georgian kidney bean […]

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Check out our latest Cultural Cookery Recipe Book with warming winter recipes from all over the world. And they are all vegetarian!

You can watch all the Cultural Cookery Show episodes here on Facebook and cook along at home. Learn how to make the recipes and top cooking tips.

Recipes;

  • Borscht and Georgian kidney bean salad
  • Chinese recipes- Tofu stir fry and vegetarian spring rolls
  • Scottish dishes- warming Scotch Broth, Scottish Rumbledethumps, and volunteer Lesley’s Grans delicious shortbread recipe.
  • Afghan recipes- Afghani pulao and Afghan Borani Banjan (Aubergine & Tomato Bake)
  • Palestinian dishes- Red Lentil and Squash Soup with Za’atar Croutons and Sabanekh Wa Jibneh (Spinach and Cheese Parcels).

We’ve joined Yaldi’s Glasgow Community Lottery

Support us by taking part in Glasgow’s new Community Lottery! We are excited to be part of Glasgow’s YALDI Lottery; the new Glasgow Community Lottery. You can help us to raise funds for wildlife by selecting us as your chosen charity when you buy a lottery ticket.– £1 per ticket – 50% goes to your chosen […]

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Support us by taking part in Glasgow’s new Community Lottery!

We are excited to be part of Glasgow’s YALDI Lottery; the new Glasgow Community Lottery.

You can help us to raise funds for wildlife by selecting us as your chosen charity when you buy a lottery ticket.
– £1 per ticket 
– 50% goes to your chosen cause and 10% to other local good causes
– Plus there’s a £25,000 grand prize

Click here to find out more and support The Hidden Gardens 

Good luck!

Cultural Cookery Recipe Book Aug- Sept 2020

Cultural Cookery Recipe Book August to September 2020 Recipes from; Japan; sesame sauce, Teriyaki Tofu and Japanese Cucumber salad. Greece- Spanakopita, Gigantes Plaki and Avgolemono soup. Kashmiri dishes; Paneer Masala, Rajma(Red kidney beans) and Dum Aloo. Nigerian recipes; Dodo (fried plantains), Nigerian Jollof rice and Efo Riro (spinach stew). Spanish Tapas dishes- Berenjenas con Miel […]

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Cultural Cookery Recipe Book August to September 2020

Recipes from;

  • Japan; sesame sauce, Teriyaki Tofu and Japanese Cucumber salad.
  • Greece- Spanakopita, Gigantes Plaki and Avgolemono soup.
  • Kashmiri dishes; Paneer Masala, Rajma(Red kidney beans) and Dum Aloo.
  • Nigerian recipes; Dodo (fried plantains), Nigerian Jollof rice and Efo Riro (spinach stew).
  • Spanish Tapas dishes- Berenjenas con Miel (Fried Eggplant With Honey) Fried Padron Peppers, Coliflor Rebozada (Spanish Fried Cauliflower) Tortilla de Patatas (Classic Spanish Omelet)

Cultural Cookery Recipe book July to August 2020

Here’s the Cultural Cookery Recipe book July to August 2020. Featuring vegetarian recipes from; Turkey- Aubergines in a tomato sauce (Soslu Patlican), Turkish Flatbread, Cacik Morrocan- Roasted carrot dip with harrisa and orange, Spiced Chickpeas and Harira soup South America- Sweet Potato, sweetcorn Quesadillas, Guacamole, Tomato Salsa Malaysia- Pumpkin Rendang, Malaysian Corn Fritters, Fluffy Rice- […]

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Here’s the Cultural Cookery Recipe book July to August 2020.

Featuring vegetarian recipes from;

Turkey- Aubergines in a tomato sauce
(Soslu Patlican), Turkish Flatbread, Cacik

Morrocan- Roasted carrot dip with harrisa and orange, Spiced Chickpeas and Harira soup

South America- Sweet Potato, sweetcorn Quesadillas, Guacamole, Tomato Salsa

Malaysia- Pumpkin Rendang, Malaysian Corn Fritters, Fluffy Rice- Absorption method

India- Radish and Roasted Peanut Salad, Bhindi Masala (Kerala Okra Curry), Kerala Mung Dal with Cumin and Spinach

Playing with Poetry

We had a lot of fun playing with poetry in the Hidden Gardens on Saturday 18th May and Saturday 20th July as part of this summer’s Wild About Gardens events. For the first event in May, we asked people to help us make a Circle Poem. Our inspiration was the poem Roundabout from Crazy Mayonnaisy […]

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We had a lot of fun playing with poetry in the Hidden Gardens on Saturday 18th May and Saturday 20th July as part of this summer’s Wild About Gardens events.

For the first event in May, we asked people to help us make a Circle Poem. Our inspiration was the poem Roundabout from Crazy Mayonnaisy Mum by Julia Donaldson. Julia’s poem takes a two-word phrase and makes new two-word phrases by adding a new word to the last word of the previous phrase. Because the afternoon was all about window ledge gardening, we started our poem with the phrase Window Box and that was followed by Box Fresh, then Fresh Air and so on. We ended up with a poem that went all around the edge of the Gingko tree.

At the second event in July, we made a Poetry Hunt using two poems that we cut up into snippets and hid in the gardens. The poems we used were Garlic by Finola Scott and Listening to the Trees by Mandy Haggith. Each poem was divided into six pieces and we asked people to search for them by taking a walk around the different parts of the Hidden Gardens. At the end of their hunt, they had put the poems back together again.

You can have a look at the photos we took.

Thanks for all your ideas!

Sarah and Claire from The Write Stuff.

Volunteering at The Hidden Gardens for Duke of Edinburgh Award

My name is Vicki and as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award, I decided to volunteer at The Hidden Gardens due to the unique volunteering experience it offered and how it differs greatly from regular places to volunteer such as charity shops.

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My name is Vicki and as part of my Duke of Edinburgh award, I decided to volunteer at The Hidden Gardens due to the unique volunteering experience it offered and how it differs greatly from regular places to volunteer such as charity shops. From gardening to helping out at a multitude of events, I have learned a lot of new techniques and met many amazing and courteous people. I have had an enthralling and enjoyable time whilst participating and helping here.

My name is Eilidh and with my friend, Vicki, I volunteered at The Hidden Gardens for the Duke of Edinburgh as a change to the usual volunteering opportunities available for most young people such as helping at charity shops. At The Hidden Gardens we helped out with lots of fun and educational activities.

We helped at weekend gardening: repotting plants into new pots, labelling plants that needed labels, weeding and so much more that if I put it all in it will start to look like a shopping list!

We helped at the “Into the Wild” outdoor events that took place at The Hidden Gardens such as Bat Night, Coffee and Chocolate and Starry Nights. Our main task for each event was to help serve food to visitors. There was a wide variety of food from curry to cake. If we were there early enough, we gave a helping hand in setting everything up before everyone came. At the bat event we helped visitors of all ages make pin badges.

We also had opportunities to take part in the events. An example of something we enjoyed was making truffles because there was a huge range of flavours to try. For the Starry Night event, we thoroughly enjoyed the planetarium and we learned a lot of interesting facts. For bat night, we used meters to detect the frequencies that bats produced. In the end, we saw two bats! In conclusion, we thought that the Into Wild events were interesting and amazing and we are looking forward to any future events.

Weekend Gardening

Vicki: During the weekends, I helped with the gardening. There were a variety of tasks to help out with such raking and refilling flower beds. I have learned a lot about gardening and different species of plants. I have become more social and happy to talk to new people. In addition it has helped me get fitter as well. I would highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys being outdoors and mingling with new people. It is a hefty job but very rewarding and fun!

Eilidh: I really enjoyed the weekend gardening as I got to meet new people and do things in a different environment. This helped me become a better person and gave me the opportunity to meet many wonderful new people. At some points you really needed some muscle for example when someone put too much topsoil in the wheelbarrow!

The Faery Trail

Vicki: One of the events we helped set up was a nighttime event called The Faery Trail. We decorated a blackboard to go at the street entrance to Tramway to catch the attention of passersby to come and see the faeries. The faeries were created by a very talented artist Lucas Chih- Peng Kao and were then projected onto different landscapes such as small hills and tree trunks. The Hidden Gardens was decorated with many pretty lights and lanterns to form a fantasy and magical atmosphere. We helped with handing out leaflets and showing people around. It was a fantastic experience!

Eilidh: At the events normally we would help serve food but at The Faery Trail event we were asked to create the sign that people would see when walking towards The Hidden Gardens. At this event we were given the job of showing people which way to go in the dark and helping to keep them safe. To me this is where I really came out of my shell as I had to meet the public. I was the first face they would see before going into The Faery trail and I had to talk to them. All in all it was a very enjoyable experience and after the DofE award, I will probably continue to volunteer here.

Many thanks to our young volunteers Vicki and Eilidh and accompanying adults who reliably turned up for every opportunity, were happy to try new things and turn their hand to any task we asked them. Thank you!

Pressed Flowers from The Hidden Gardens Decorating Our New Entrance Way

Thanks to our Green Thumbs volunteers, a floral display in our new entrance displays a selection of seasonal flowers and foliage from The Gardens. In the last couple of months, the entrances leading to The Hidden Gardens have had a makeover. A lovely new large metal sign indicates to visitors coming in from Pollokshaws Road […]

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Thanks to our Green Thumbs volunteers, a floral display in our new entrance displays a selection of seasonal flowers and foliage from The Gardens.

In the last couple of months, the entrances leading to The Hidden Gardens have had a makeover. A lovely new large metal sign indicates to visitors coming in from Pollokshaws Road that they are about to enter The Gardens, and our entrance at the back of the Tramway building has been overhauled, with users coming through Tramway and into a kind of foyer, or transitional space, before walking out into the gardens.

The point of this transitional space is to surround visitors with a sense of The Gardens before they actually enter them. The designer of this project suggested that one way to achieve this was by picking and pressing seasonal flowers and foliage from the Gardens, and presenting them alongside the information about the history and role of the space.

Since I have a background in floral design, Paula, our head gardener suggested that this was a project I could take on.Feb_20 (2)

The first task was to create a flower press. Drilling four holes in two pieces of scrap wood left over from building a planter, it was easy to create a large, functioning press. Other volunteers provided bolts, nuts and old newspapers picked up on public transport, with cardboard reused from oversized delivery packaging.

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Paula led the selection of flowers and foliage to be pressed, and we started by focussing on the beautiful hellebores that were flowering abundantly. A quick google established that it was likely to take around three weeks for the plants to be suitably dried out by the press, and so during each weekly Green Thumbs session for around a month I worked to choose, pick and press flowers and foliage that might ultimately look good framed and mounted, as well as changing the paper surrounding them to remove as much damp as quickly as possible.

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Last week we decided that the first lot of pressed flowers were ready to go. Assembling our Green Thumbs volunteer team (among whom we have a designer, an exhibition curator, a woodworker and an art historian), volunteer Marion carefully cut out squares of paper, and we each chose flowers and created a design to sit in one of the eight mounted Perspex squares in the Tramway entrance.

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You can see our efforts for yourself as you walk through to the back of Tramway, into the Hidden Garden foyer, and look at the display to your left. Our longer term goal is to create a library of these pressed flower designs, so that they can be changed with the seasons, indicating to our visitors not only what they can expect to see in The Gardens before they walk through the doors, but also demonstrating volunteer teamwork and our pride in showing off what The Gardens have to offer.

Pausing to ask any of the gardeners and volunteers involved in this project how they feel about their display within the new entranceway, it is amazing how often the response is not only a large smile, but also a desire to talk about how pleased they feel about it, the plants we used and the response they had sharing images of the project on social media:

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“The new entrance gives a flavour of what’s to come upon entering the gardens, bringing a little of the outside in.”

“It’s very engaging and help to create a welcoming entrance to the gardens.”

“The artwork helps to highlight the gardens. Gives a bit of identity.”

“It helps us feel a sense of ownership and belonging.”

“The displays of pressed flowers feels a bit like a scavenger hunt, making me want to look out for the living, outdoor versions of the preserved, indoor ones.”

How we volunteers now experience walking into The Gardens, through the new entrance way, has certainly shifted. We see that our display connects the visitor to the garden, reflects the seasons outside and gives a glimpse of what’s growing. We feel proud of what we’ve created, stopping and looking at our artwork before moving outside through the new doors, and it has helped us feel a sense of belonging to the garden we work hard to maintain.

By Ellie, Volunteer