Category Archives: Events

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. 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!

190423 DOE image

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!

Wildscope by Zoe Pearson

Opening 11th August 2018 as part of the Big Summer Get Together at the rill area of The Hidden Gardens, Wildscope is a permanent outdoor exhibition marking The Hidden Gardens 15th anniversary, featuring a series of newly commissioned artworks by Zoe Pearson.

We interviewed both Zoe and the curator Yi-An Shiau who has placed the work in the context of new materialsm and craftivism.

What is the exhibition about?

  • Zoe explained that the exhibition is about Taoism, the Bagua map and is related to Feng Shui. Basically the rill area is separated into four sections based on the compass points of North, South, East and West. The Bagua Map organises the elements, concepts such as nature, environment and surroundings; it is similar to the Islamic Garden design.
  • The pieces made are intended for visitors to explore the area more, with different perspectives.
  • Yi-An said she believes Zoe’s work ‘is very special and invites people to build their sensory experiences.’ Adding that ‘New Materialism thinks about perspective, non-human entities and also materials, how the materials are felt and expressed by the artist.’

There are four installations:

IMG_3981The Bird Bath Bowl, in collaboration with ceramist Ele Paul. The bowl holds water which is linked to North on the Bagua Map and is intended for animals of the Gardens to use, and people to use as an opportunity to reflect and observe.

IMG_4162The Learning Log was carved by Zoe as a tactile piece to emphasise the qualities of the wood so people can feel it with their hands and pick it up. ‘There is a balance to the piece, so when someone sits on it or touches it, or explores it with their hands, the weight and shape of the log is collaboration between a persons movements and touch, and the material of the wood. A mutual understanding is formed with interacting with the log. The piece suits all ages.

IMG_4005The Living Mountain is an ‘insect hotel’, a pile of logs and hollowed out trunk. It is put together with plants on top of it for insects to live. Related to the West on the Bagua Map, ‘The theme of unseen assistance and the idea is that insects provide pollination, food for birds etc. They assist the environment in many different ways most of us may be unaware of. It is an environment for insects and allows people a view into the world of insects.’

The Recycled Rug is a knotted rug made out of odd plastic bags, representing the East of the Bagua Map, and ‘signifies family and group strength and support. Using plastic (something that is wasted) and turning it into something that is useful and attractive. Giving discarded materials a life and story and the rug is a continuation of the use of storytelling in the Garden previously. the Recycled Rug opens up a new dialogue about using waste and creates a platform to discuss the common thing in their daily life.’


Presented as part of the 2018 Graduate Deegree Show of the MLitt Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) course programme, established jointly by the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow. 

By James, volunteer


The Hidden Gardens Cultural Cookery – Flatbread Recipes

One of our flatbread making workshops during Mela on Your Doorstep - looks good!
One of our flatbread making workshops during Mela on Your Doorstep – looks good!

Thanks to everyone who came along to our Mela on Your Doorstep event on Saturday. We had a great time, and we hope you did too! Lots of fun events took place, including some cookery workshops where you could learn how to make your own chapatis, soda farls, and piadina. Delicious!

For those of you who were unable to make it, you can take part in one of our flatbread making workshops in your very own kitchen by following these recipes. Which flatbread is your favourite?

The Hidden Gardens Cultural Cookery – Flatbreads Recipe Book

Meditations in Nature – Interfaith Shared Meal

Snapshots of the Interfaith Glasgow shared meal
Snapshots from the first Southside Interfaith Meal

We were delighted to host Interfaith Glasgow‘s first in a series of Southside Interfaith meals last night, part of National Inter Faith Week celebrations. The Hidden Gardens Men’s Cultural Cookery group kindly volunteered their time to cater for the event, cooking a delicious vegetarian feast including: mint tea (harvested from the Gardens); pea and potato pakora served with coconut chutney; spinach and chickpea curry with raita and couscous with roast cherry tomatoes, and finally Moroccan rice pudding with fruit salad. The good food was accompanied by good conversation, and guests shared their thoughts of the evening on coloured leaves. These leaves will be collected after every meal and shared on a tree following the culmination of the meals later in 2015.

Interfaith Glasgow shared this message on their Facebook page:

Last night the Hidden Gardens hosted the first in our series of interfaith community meals. The aim of these meals is to bring together people from different religious communities in the South East of Glasgow to share good food and good conversation in a relaxed and welcoming environment. Last night’s guests included members of the Muslim (Sunni and Shia), Baha’i, Christian, Buddhist, and Sikh traditions. Delicious food was prepared by the Hidden Gardens’ cooking group and presented in an ambient setting conducive to dialogue on the theme of faith and nature. One guest wrote: “It is a fantastic event, I enjoyed the discussion at my table. … [F]aith should bring people together rather than separate them”. Our thanks go to The South East Integration Network (for funding this community meals project), the Hidden Gardens, and all the attendees for making last night so special.

The menu from the shared meal on Wednesday 26th November
The menu from the shared meal on Wednesday 26th November

Pedals and petals at The Hidden Gardens

Outdoor film screening at The Hidden Gardens
Outdoor film screening at The Hidden Gardens

Update 1/12/14 – Mandela Celebration Film now online

We had a great night last night at our bike-powered film screening. It was fantastic to see the films, which documented the excitement of the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival and our Mandela Celebration, and in the case of the Commonwealth Youth Dance film, to be reminded of sunny summer weather!

Many thanks to the young film-makers, our volunteers, and everyone who came along for the screening, discussion, and delicious food. For those of you who couldn’t make it along, we’ll be uploading the films to our website next month. Keep your eyes peeled!

Bike-powered Film Screening at The Hidden Gardens

Flyer for our twilight bike-powered film screening
Flyer for our twilight bike-powered film screening

Thursday 23 October, 5-7pm
The Hidden Gardens

Join us for a twilight bike-powered film premiere, followed a discussion and home-made soup, at The Hidden Gardens

Produced by local young people, these short films depict community events that took place in The Hidden Gardens over the summer: our Mandela Celebration, and the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival. The screenings will be followed by a lively discussion over tasty homemade soup, made by our Cultural Cookery volunteers!

The young film makers have captured the atmosphere and significance of the two recent events: our Mandela Celebration, a celebration of volunteering; and the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival in which 500 young people from across the Commonwealth performed in Tramway and the Hidden Gardens. The films have common themes of ‘welcome’, ‘friendship’ and ‘peaceful togetherness’.

The discussion will include time for us all to reflect on the impact of the ‘call to action’ launched at the Mandela Celebration to “Pledge 67 minutes to your community through volunteering”. We will be asking what are the needs of the community that volunteering can fulfil, what creative ways there are to use volunteers, and what action people want to take next. We hope you can join us for this fascinating event.

Please note: This is an outdoor event, so please wear warm clothes
Booking is recommended. To book, please email

Family Day at Tramway and The Hidden Gardens – Sunday 21st September

A lovely bright yellow bird nest box featuring illustrations by Joe Murray, aged 8 years.
A lovely bright yellow birdbox featuring illustrations by Joe Murray, aged 8 years.

Join us in The Hidden Gardens as we host a variety of fun family activities inspired by our fine feathered friends! These are all drop-in activities so places are limited. No booking required.

Design your own bird nest box, The Boilerhouse
Decorate and take home your very own miniature bird nest box – the sky’s the limit as to how creative you want to be!

Make your own birdfeeder, The Boilerhouse Courtyard
Learn how to make practical bird-feeders to provide food over the cold winter months.

Storytelling, meet in Tramway at the green entrance door to the Gardens
Hear the story of the Parliament of the Birds with our storyteller

We hope you’re able to join us for one or more activities!

Guest post from Young Film-Maker Charandeep

Our young film-makers are working with the footage they’ve taken at the Commonwealth Youth Dance Festival and Mandela Celebrations, and we’re looking forward to sharing their work with you later in the year. Here’s a guest post from another of our young film-makers, Charandeep.

The experience of working with this project has been really great so far. I have been really excited to learn to interpret and convey values through the medium of film, something which is so relevant to my volunteering at the Glasgow Gurdwara.

My favourite part so far has been meeting the young people from Scottish Ballet and Singapore and learning about how they communicate to each other through dance.

The thing I’m really looking forward to is the editing process – that’s the bit that really interests me. To be able to formulate a 15 minute film from hours of footage will be a really exciting process. I want to use the time remaining to be taught by our mentors how to use what can be complicated software, like Final Cut Pro – it will be really great.

Bringing all these areas together has been the Hidden Gardens. The Gardens have been the core of the whole project – it’s our meeting space, social space, work space and relaxation space! It really has the power of bringing people together. A true gem of a space in Glasgow.

Sunday 27th July: The Hidden Gardens at the Empire Cafe

140725 plant kiosk

On Sunday 27th July, 12pm-5pm, The Hidden Gardens will be at The Empire Cafe at the Briggait. As part of the Food Sovereignty Market, Mark will be demonstrating some of the vegetables grown at the allotment, as well as selling potted plants, perennials, herbs, and more!

There will also be lots of workshops, talks and other fun things at the Empire Cafe, which is on until Friday 1st August.