There are lots of artistic ways to interpret the Gardens, such as through drawing, poetry or photography. Prose is a little rarer, but this story by Roots and Shoots volunteer Allan shows that it’s a great way to describe the feeling of The Hidden Gardens.
Discovering a Hidden World
After journeying through endless blocks of busy buildings, I descend metal stairs into a narrow dark corner. A green door stands, waiting. I enter.
Opening into the stillness of a fresh morning, the white sky expands exponentially around the tranquil scenery, revealing a secluded world waiting to be discovered.
A tall tree stands proud on its pristine lawn. The neat lawn stretches like a green velvet carpet. The surrounding foliage encircles the scene in an organic arena. The busy blocks fade into a distant memory as I wander further into the wild. A path invites me to explore.
The rhythmic crunching of my footsteps on pebbles accents the serene quiet. Meandering along the path, the wilderness begins to reveal itself.
A sudden fluttering resonates in the undergrowth as I enter the private sanctuary. Birds twitter and whistle cheerfully up amongst outstretching branches, while a passing seagull jabs high-pitch staccato into the hidden harmony.
I notice some rustling amongst the blanket of crackling leaves. I slowly approach. I follow the sound and peer through the bushes. A blackbird stands still, watching. I move closer. His gentle eyes look at me without fear, allowing me into his hidden world.
Hidden Gardens volunteers braved the weather to meet at Queen’s park to take part in an OPAL Air Quality survey. This survey uses biological indicators; species whose presence is sensitive to changes in environmental conditions.
Guided by Joanne Dempster from OPAL, we focused on looking at lichens with different sensitivities to nitrogen containing air pollutants and were amazed at how proficient we became in spotting different lichens in a short morning session. Our records will be uploaded to the national survey and will provide valuable information about levels of nitrogen containing air pollutants throughout the UK.
Not only are lichen good indicators of air quality, but they look pretty too!
Saturday 19 September
We’ve a few places left on our next Weekend Volunteering Opportunity. We’ll be pruning, maintaining the Gardens and getting them ready for Autumn and Winter. No previous gardening experience is necessary, just a desire to work outdoors in the Scottish weather.
Here’s what some previous Weekend Volunteers have enjoyed about volunteering with The Hidden Gardens.
“Being outside; doing gardening work; and meeting new people”
“Learning more about plants, building on last time’s experience. Meeting people!”
“Being among friendly people. Learning more about gardening. Being in the sunshine.”