Horticultural Manavilins- Tall Tales as told by ex-curator Paul Matthews

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As befits a proud member of the Cornish diaspora Paul Matthews talk on Thursday 24th October 2019 smacks of the sea but possibly in title only. A manavilin is a nautical term of bits and pieces, odds and sods or the scraps left over in a barrel. Paul’s long career in botany and horticultural has left him with a ship load of tales of his horticultural exploits and occasional misfortune. A very engaging speaker, Paul will be delivering the first talk in the Autumn series for the Friends at the University of Glasgow, Bower Building, University Avenue, Glasgow. Talk starts at 7.30 on Thursday 24th October and its free to members of the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens. Non-members also welcome.


UPDATE 30/08/2019 bat and moth night cancelled

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Time of event CANCELLED.



Last Few Available Spaces For The CPH Course Starting In August

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There are a few spaces to left for The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) Certificate of Practical Horticulture being offered at Glasgow Botanic Gardens, starting August 2019 and lasting for 10 full days at a cost of £500.

This is being offered in partnership with the RBGE and is co-ordinated by the former Curator, Paul Matthews, Lisa Swift and the Friends of  Glasgow Botanic Gardens. Tutors Paul, Lisa and other members of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens bring a wealth of horticultural knowledge and expertise to this project.

 For further course enquiries for the Glasgow CPH please email :

Summer Walks and Talks

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We have a range of tours for the Summer.

Staff will be taking you somewhere in the Gardens and talking new developments, current projects or old favourites.



Meet at 2pm in front of the Kibble Palace on the following days.

  1. Monday 24th of June
  2. Tuesday 2nd July
  3. Tuesday 16th July
  4. Wednesday 17th July
  5. Monday 22nd July
  6. Wednesday 31st July
  7. Tuesday 6th August
  8. Friday 16th August
  9. Monday 19th August
  10. Wednesday 28th August
  11. Tuesday 3rd September
  12. Tuesday 10th September




Glasgow Science Festival at Glasgow Botanic Gardens

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We are delighted to be playing host to several events as part of Glasgow Science Festival 2019.


We have three dates in June for you to watch out for; Saturday 8th, Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th


Saturday 8th June 11-3.00

Discover science at Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. Join University of Glasgow PhD students, University of Strathclyde engineers and biologists from the Royal Society of Biology in the Kibble Palace to explore energy and the natural world. How can we clean up our oceans? How do wind turbines work? And how can plants help address global challenges? Learn all of this and more by getting hands on.



Saturday and Sunday 15th and 16th June 11-3.00

Join researchers from The Open University and the University of Strathclyde’s Really Small Science team for a weekend of fun, hands-on experiments! From the chemistry of a beautiful garden to sludgy science and mathematical brainteasers, there’s plenty to see and do. More information on what’s in store is provided below. 

Soils, Chemistry and the Electron Microscope
What’s the secret to a beautiful garden? Join The Open University’s School of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences to investigate how the pH of soil affects the plants in your garden. But it it’s not just plants that need to eat – so do we! Test how much you really know about food by looking at some real microscope samples. What does your favourite food really look like?

Sticks and Stones: From Rocks to Plants!
Learn how to enjoy science while having fun outdoors with The Open University! No special knowledge, skills or equipment are necessary, just your phone or tablet, observations and enthusiasm. Find out where soils come from and what plants can tell you about them. Learn a bit about rocks, trees and beasties and contribute to citizen science.

Mathematics in the Botanics: Getting to the Root of the Problem
Problem solving sits at the heart of all Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and some of the biggest discoveries started off from playing around with a fascinating game or problem. Try your hand at some mathematical puzzles, games and brainteasers with The Open University! BYOB – bring your own brain.

Really Small Science: Nanodirt
Take a big look at the nano-world with ReallySmallScience! Join researchers from the University of Strathclyde for fun, hands-on experiments. We’ll explore chemical and process engineering with our nanopolymer sludge, nanosoot and wobbly nanojelly.


Our Science Partners for all these events are:


All events are all ages, free and drop in

For full details of all the events taking place as part of Glasgow Science Festival can be found at


The Event on the 8th of June has been sponsored by;


Kibble Lecture: Thursday 18th April 2019

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The Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens annual Kibble Lecture this year has two guest speakers.

Dr Helen Kingstone, Lecturer in Victorian Studies (University of Glasgow), will open the evening with a short talk on the ‘Born in 1819’ Project with the associated exhibition New Victorians: Kibble and his Contemporaries still running in the Kibble Palace.

Our main speaker will be Alasdair Hood, ex-curator of Dundee Botanic Gardens, who will taking about his 20 years at Dundee Botanic Gardens along with other events in his Life in Horticulture.

Alasdair most recently collaborated with Christine Nicholson (GBG-Orchid Propagator) and staff members from RBGE in a collecting expedition to the Alpes-Maritimes in France.

The talk will be in the Bower Building (Botany Building) at University of Glasgow and is free to members of the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens. a small donation to the Friends is required from non-members


 The building will be open from 7pm and the talk will begin at 7.30pm

Orchid Success

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Its a ‘well done’ to Christine Nicholson (GBG-Orchid Propagator) for producing some award winning plants for the Scottish Orchid Society display at the North East England Orchid Society Show.

The Paphiopedilum appletonianum won Best Society Plant for the Scottish Orchid Society display as well as a Highly Commended for the overall show.


The Pleione pictured below, also won Highly Commended for the overall show.



Thanks are also due to Alan and Trish Mackenzie of the Scottish Orchid Society who displayed the plants at the County Durham Show



Don’t forget that the Glasgow Botanic Gardens Orchid Fair will take place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th of May.


Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens Talk, Thursday 14th March

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As part of the monthly series of meetings, this month the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens play host to Dr Alan Elliott, research associate from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Alan’s doctoral studies centered on the bio-geography of Meconopsis and in this talk he expands on this topic to cover the collection and propagation of this iconic genus.

Alan will outline plans to start collecting seed to grow specimens for Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

Also covered will be Alan’s recent field work, contributing to the Flora of Nepal. This work was part-funded by the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens and Alan’s poster for his work on the Flora of Nepal is displayed below.(Click to enlarge)



The talk on the 14th of March will start at 7.30 and will take place in the Bower Building of the University Of Glasgow. Please enter via the main entrance from 7pm onwards. The talks are free to members of the Friends but no-members are welcome(small donation)

Come Dino With Me- A Tour of Dippy the Dinosaur’s Desirable Dinner Menu.

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We have a number of places still available for our Dino-themed tour of the plant collections at Glasgow Botanic Gardens on the 13th Feb 2019 and the 13th March 2019. Pre-booking is essential so follow the link below to reserve a space before they are all…….extinct.

If you cant make the 13thFeb or 13th March then you can meet the Glasgow Botanic Gardens Education Team at Kelvingrove Museum on the 16th February. They are taking along some plants that are similar to those that Dippy nibbled and will also have a wide range of plant artifacts as part of a show and tell session.

All events are free but tours must be booked.


Come Dino With Me!! an event linked to Dippy on Tour: Glasgow.

Index Seminum 2018-2019

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Just a quick update on the link to the Index Seminum seed exchange page, just click on the

Index Seminum Page (Re-opens 10/12/2018)

We have reused last years page hence the mention of 2017 in the web address sorry for any confusion.

This year it is online, please do fill out a contact email and postal address when completing the online form