Category Archives: Wildlife

Scotrail planters

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.

scotrail planters 5

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

Lynne, Garden Assistant & Volunteer





The Buzz on Bees

bee panels (6)_PM EDIT

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.


Our Hidden Gardens

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.

Ewan’s images can be viewed on the project blog:

Our Hidden Gardens
‘Potting On’


Big Garden Birdwatch 2016: Homes & Shelters

Big Garden Birdwatch banner

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

Moths moths moths!

Some of the moths that visit The Hidden Gardens

At different times throughout the year, Richard Weddle (the Lanarkshire County Moth Recorder) sets up moth traps in The Hidden Gardens. The trap is a box with a UV light, which attracts the moths during the night. The next day he opens the box, identifies what moths have popped by, then lets them back out into the wild.

It’s fascinating to learn about the varied species of moths, one of the more misunderstood (and dare we say, disliked?) insects. Richard has given us some advice about how to identify these moths, as well as some interesting titbits about the different species.

Angle-Shades: This moth has a very distinctive shape and pattern. Unlike the others, Richard found this moth in a shrubby Lime in the Rill area, and he caught it with a net!

Heart and Dart: This is easy to identify by the two dark marks – one being ‘dart’ shaped (not the sort used in pub games!) and the other roughly heart-shaped; the photo also shows very nicely the distinctive black ‘collar’; the larvae feed on a wide range of herbaceous plants.

Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix: Richard’s not 100% sure, but the dark colouration and the angular projection in the main dark band are the important features which suggests that’s what the wee guy is. The larvae live in the rolled-up edges of leaves of a variety of many deciduous trees – including apple and pear.

Wormwood Pug: The identifying features are principally the 3 dark spots and the black-banded abdomen, but wing size and shape are important in identifying any pug (in fact identification of this group is a bit of a ‘black art’); the larvae feed on plants of the daisy family (Asteraceae).

Riband Wave: This photo is from the cone of the trap, hence the angle of the photo! The Riband Wave is so-called because one form has the area between the two main cross-lines filled in the same colour as the cross-lines, otherwise the distinguishing features are the kink in the outermost cross-line just before the leading edge, the strongly-arched leading edge as it approaches the tip, and the peppering of dark scales on a fawn background; again the larvae feed on a wide range of herbaceous plants.

Light Emerald: Not our photo we’re afraid, this wee guy escaped before we could snap him when he visited us recently! This moth is a beautiful light-green colour, which fades to an almost-white as the moth ages. Looking at her hair, our administrator sympathises with the Light Emerald about this.

Thanks for teaching us about these moths Richard. We’re looking forward to seeing what’s in the moth trap next time!