News

Summer Time Talks and Walks

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Its time to get to know the Gardens better!

 

We have a short list of guided walks round parts of the Gardens that are not always open to the public as well as tours of the Main Range display houses, all led by Senior Horticulturalists Christine, Stevie and Gordon as well as Education Officer Louise and the Garden’s manager Ewen.

The Dates confirmed so far are;

July

Monday July 16th 2-3pm

Monday 23rd July 2-3pm

Thursday 26th July 2-3pm

August

Sunday 19th August 2-3pm

Thursday 23rd August 2-3pm

September

Friday 7th September 2-3pm

Sunday 9th September 2-3pm

We look forward to meeting you on one of the tours.

Once more unto the beech…

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I know its technically Fagus sylvatica, but it’s a tricky business getting a funny title out of a scientific bi-nomial.

06/04/2018

What’s not funny was the poor treatment that the 250 year old Pollok Beech received about one year ago.

As reported in many papers the Wishing Tree, which featured in Scotland’s 100 Heritage Tree list, was burned out by vandals and despite the best efforts of Pollok staff, Countryside Rangers and Scottish Fire and Rescue the damage was so great the tree split in two.

The tree  continues to produce some sparse lateral growth and it’s been decided that now is the time of year to attempt some cuttings.

 

Led by Stevie Jacusz , Botanic’s propagator extraordinaire, an attempt will be made to root about twenty hardwood cuttings just before bud break.

Normally grown from seed, or in the case of coloured or cultivars with unusual form, from grafted material , growing Fagus sylvatica from hardwood cuttings usually has a very poor outcome. The cuttings are slow to root and then very prone to rotting after their fist winter, probably because the root system has not become fully established.

GBG

Day one of the mission 07/04/2018

We arrived on site and its clear to see that the tree is in a very poor condition but there is life at the top of the stairs.

We were hoping to take hard wood cuttings from both sides of the split trunk just at bud break so timing was everything.

On the side nearest the steps the buds are swollen and ready to go.

But at the other side the wood is brittle, no new buds are present and dead leaves still hang from the twigs. Unfortunately, not a good sign. Pretty much a rescue mission now.

Secateurs ..check, old compost bag….check….twenty cuttings,

check!

We understand the significance this tree has to many people that visit Pollok Park, so we were very careful not to move or cut any twigs or branches that had messages or wishes attached.

We popped them into the tree ambulance and raced (at an appropriate speed for the conditions and with due care) back to Glasgow Botanics.

After soaking the material, Stevie is going to strip the buds and create 12 inch basal cuttings and also try some apical cuttings for luck.

The cuttings are wounded at the base and then dipped into hormone powder to promote rooting.

We are using a fairly loose coir based compost to attempt to root the cuttings, a few secret ingredients are added.

The details are stored in the Botanic Garden database and a new label and barcode are produced.

So although reduced from the Pollok Beech , the Wishing Tree down to TREE 001-059-018 we will be able to follow and record the progress. Succeed or fail, it will be a valuable experience.

The cuttings are placed round the outside of the pot where there is better compost aeration and where its slightly warmer to promote root growth, it also gives us the maximum space per cutting per pot.

8 pots, with about 6 cuttings a pot, are placed into the outside frames.

Aljos Farjon ,the Kew Botanic Gardens tree specialist, mentioned in his talk to the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens (November 2017) that burning/vandalism was one of the major threats to our Heritage Trees in urban areas. many councils have taken to caging and boarding up ancient oaks.

48 cuttings in total, we just need one to take.

A possible outcome of this rescue mission could be the donation of a new generation of Pollok Wishing Trees to local parks, schools and gardens.

We will keep this section updated as we go through the next few years.

GBG

 

From Knotty Ash to Weeping Ash

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Wee Hamish McDiddy, from just outside Liverpool, has sent in a request for ash related postings, it was wrapped in two pieces of bread and jam.

Our tree, appropriately the weeping ash, was a gift to the original Glasgow Botanic Gardens (at Sandyford, near Sauchiehall Street) from nurseryman, Robert Austin.  Having been planted in 1818 it was then moved to its current site in 1841. The original tree was small so all the taller trees were grafted high up to produce a tall, clear trunk with upper pendulous branches. All the ‘Pendula’ cultivars are believed to descend from a single tree found in the parish of Gamlingay, Cambridgeshire.

 

 

Information taken from W J Bean’s Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles, our thanks also go to Professor Yaffle Chucklebutty for his lifetime of research into “Happiness; Cause and Effects”.

Alas, more research now needed….

Snowdrop (day 2)

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Sunrise on the first day of Spring.

It wasn’t the usual journey to work today!

We were a bit dismissive of the snow yesterday but overnight we received a sharp reminder from Mother Nature in the form of just less than a foot of snow at Glasgow Botanics.

The Tea Room staff have walked several miles from the south of Glasgow to open up the Curators House Tea Room. I think they were needing a drop of their own medicine by the time they arrived.

Usually home to ‘cool’ events such as the Book Fair, Botanical Painting or Garden Design classes the Hopkirk Building is looking slightly chilly today. Please contact your course lead before traveling, if you plan to attend any classes over the next two days.

Due to difficulties with the transport network, we are short staffed at the moment so the Main Range will remain shut, the Kibble Palace, as always, is open till 4. Inside the glasshouses the plants still need watered despite the snow and we would like to thank our Glasgow University student placement who turned up today and assisted two of the horticultural apprentices with glasshouse maintenance.

Today ( 1/03/2018), the Main Range will remain shut, Public Toilets are open till 4 pm, The Tea Room is open but will close at 2pm, Kibble will close at 4 pm and we will be shutting and locking the gates to the grounds by 5pm.

This to allow our staff, apprentices and volunteers to travel home, and so I can find a carrot to finish my snowman.

 

 

Snowdrop

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We were open this morning, as we have been for nearly 201 years, despite the ‘dusting of snow’. To ensure staff and public are cleared from the grounds safely, glasshouses and grounds will close earlier than advertised.

Main Range Glasshouses will close at 13.30

Kibble Palace will close at 15.30

Grounds will start to close from 16.00

We will open again hopefully as normal tomorrow.

Sorry to disappoint the Galanthophiles with the post title.

Happy New Year

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Although the outside beds might be covered in snow, the glasshouses and Kibble Palace will be open as usual over the next few days, including Hogmanay and New Year’s Day.

Closing Times for Glasshouses and Kibble Palace 4.15pm and the Ranger Team start locking the outside grounds at 4.45pm

Happy New Year from all at GBG

Plant health update 01/12/2017

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After a lot of hard work by the team at GBG the infected Rhododendrons at the Main Entrance have been removed or destroyed on-site. After the plants directly within the quarantined area and associated leaf litter were destroyed, approximately one month ago, the plants outwith the quarantined zone have had the top growth removed and burned. The rootballs of these plants will be removed and disposed of off-site as quickly as possible.

The beds were quite overgrown, some plants were leggy and had been damaged over the years but the Rhododendrons still provided early seasonal colour. Speaking to some of the frequent visitors to GBG these plants will be greatly missed.

In October the scene looked like this;

The squad are just finishing with stage 2 of the clearance today, 30th of November;

We will be working with partners in the Plant Health Unit of the Scottish Government to continue to monitor and review the situation with regards to Phytophthora at GBG.

We are restricted for 4 years in our planting choice for these beds but we shall publish our new plans soon.

GBG