Bees, butterflies and moths have quite limited options for food in the city but, Pollokshields East train station’s mixed planters are a delectable buffet with their choice of nectar-rich flowers, such as the verbena and lavender. Many of the plants, for example the ivy, provide a helpful habitat for tiny insects and other little creatures.
Our volunteers, who do most of the planting, take great pride in keeping their local train station looking and smelling great – all that lavender and rosemary is quite a treat for the senses! They are keen to play a part in supporting the area’s biodiversity and often comment on this.
Driven by feedback from volunteers, the planters are all quite visually different. The range of wildlife-friendly plants include pretty flowers and structural evergreens, with grasses and some familiar herbs. There are also plants with interesting textures, such as the incredibly soft lamb’s ear.
Through maintaining the Pollokshields East planters, our volunteers learn how to maintain wildlife-friendly raised beds. That knowledge can then be used in their own garden space. And for those without their own garden, they get the therapeutic benefits of both working with plants and doing something positive for the local community, their community. Passengers sometimes stop and ask us for the names of certain plants, and on occasion we’ve had passengers stop to thank us for what we’re doing
After 14 years engaging the local community in growing fruit and veg and discovering wildlife at Plot 10 – the Community Plot at New Victoria Gardens Allotments off Glenapp St, Pollokshields, The Hidden Gardens have recently handed the plot back to the committee so that they can engage another local organisation to continue this work with other community and school groups. The Hidden Gardens has worked with everyone from toddler groups at PDA to local primary schoolchildren from local schools in Pollokshields and Govanhill, secondary schoolchildren from schools for those with learning needs and various adult community groups.
A lunch was held at the plot on Fri 16th August to thank all NVG plot holders, committee members and Southside Housing Association who have supported us and given us advice over the years. Past and present volunteers had an opportunity to enjoy the space they have helped to nurture over the years – digging the wildlife pond, building & maintaining the beds, growing produce etc. The plot will be missed by all, but we will be continuing this project at The Hidden Gardens – growing produce and exploring wildlife with nurture classes from local schools. The Hidden Gardens will also continue to offer wildlife activities for all at public events such as Bioblitz on Doors Open Day 16th September 2017 and our volunteers will still continue to maintain The Hidden Gardens and the planters at Pollokshields East station.
Many thanks to all who have supported us over the years and I am sure will continue to do so when the plot is handed over to another local community group.
The Hidden Gardens commissioned artist Lucy Payne to design some new interpretation panels all about bees. The panels are located in some of the most bee-centric areas of the Gardens: the White Wall Border, the Mint Border, the Herb Border and the Floral Meadow. Have a look for them next time you are in the Gardens!
You can also find pictures of the panels in our flickr album.
In Summer 2016 The Hidden Gardens embarked on a pilot project that brought together participants from all of our programme strands with some others who had never visited the Gardens before. They embarked on a 12 week programme of activity that centred on arts and creativity, horticulture and the environment and health and wellbeing.
Allotmenting, Ceramics, Foraging, Cooking, Walking Mindfulness and spoon carving were some of the activities tried, and Artist Ewan Sinclair worked with the group, producing a series of beautiful digital drawings which were collated into a keepsake publication for participants.
Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers who potted on numerous plants and took charge of organising a really fantastic plant and wildlife activity stall at Bungo in the Back Lanes raising over £150 for The Hidden Gardens.
The Hidden Gardens staff and volunteers had a lovely morning taking part in
the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch on Saturday 30th January 2016.
Our initial excitement at seeing a Sparrow hawk fly over the gardens was dampened when we realised that the silence meant all the wee birds had stopped singing and gone into hiding! However they did venture out again and we were very pleased with our ‘snapshot’ of the bird life in the gardens. Here’s what we saw during our hour:
blackbird x 2
bluetit x 4
crow x 3
chaffinch x 4
coaltit x 1
dunnock x 1
feral pigeon x 2
goldfinch x 1
great tit x 2
greenfinch x 1
magpie x 3
robin x 2
wood pigeon x 2
bullfinch x 3
sparrowhawk x 1
The goings on at The Hidden Gardens on Glasgow Southside