COVID-19: Glasshouses Shut- Latest Updates 04/05/2020

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Monday 4th May 2020

The Gardens remain open for exercise for local residents although the Glasshouses, Kibble Palace and Tea Rooms are shut.

Although getting fresh air and exercise at this time is recommended please remember to practice social distancing to protect others and yourself.

Events including wedding bookings are now cancelled until further notice, please contact 0141 276 1614 if you have an enquiry relating to bookings.

The numerous important plant collections at Glasgow Botanic Gardens including our National Collections of Begonias, Dendrobiums and Tree Ferns are being maintained.

Volunteering is cancelled until a review is carried out into safe working practices including social distancing. We are not accepting any new volunteer applications at present and a waiting list is currently in operation for existing applications. Updates for new volunteers will be posted here and existing volunteers will be contacted directly.

Glasgow City Council will review the situation at Glasgow Botanic Gardens in line with Scottish Government advice.

We wish you all the very best at the moment, one day this will be over and we will open fully again,






Wednesday 18 March 2020 at 09:30 hours

Glasgow Botanic Glasshouses and Tea Room at the Botanics are now closed.

In line with the government’s advice on reducing social contact, Glasgow City Council Neighbourhood and Sustainability Service has taken the difficult decision to close the Glasshouses this morning. This is in line with ALEO Glasgow Life venues across the city, which now are also shut.

This closure will also help us maintain safe social distancing measures for the public and our staff who have to maintain the valuable plant collections.

We expect the closure to continue until at least the end of April.(update posted 18/03/20)


Please Note that volunteering at Glasgow Botanic Gardens is suspended while Government advice on social distancing is in force (updated posted 17/03/20)

Events at Glasgow Botanic Gardens organised by Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens (update 13/03/2020)

Due to the dynamic situation regarding public health in the UK the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens have reluctantly taken the following decisions.

The Certificate of Practical Horticulture for Spring 2020 has been postponed. This course was due to commence on Saturday March 14th. If you were signed up to this course the course co-ordinator will be in touch with you by email regarding re-arrangement or re-imbursement. Please read the separate statement posted by the Friends on the CPH Page

The Award Ceremony for students from the Summer 2019 Course on the 28th March is cancelled and we will post out certificates and awards.

The Kibble Lecture on April 23rd which was due to be given by Martin Gardner on the subject of the Conifer Conservation Project is also postponed.

This website will be kept up to date re-the changes to the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens programme.

Glasgow Botanic Gardens is operated by Glasgow City Council and these cancellations refer to events organised by the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens, other events running at Glasgow Botanic Gardens are organised by different providers and you may have to refer to them for the latest information.


Please vote to fund our new project!!

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The Gardens are just waking up but the Friends have been active over the winter and in particular supporting the Friends of Glasgow Parks Forum. The Forum has been leading the “Participatory Budgeting” process with the City Council – this sounds complicated but can be summarised by saying there is £90,000 available for new projects funded by Wee Green Grants. Applications have closed and the Friends have applied for £4500 (max per application is £5000) for “Teaching the Teachers” – essentially a scaled down version of our Certificate in Practical Horticulture.

We teach the teachers and then they will take the knowledge back to the classroom.

We aim to have 10 one day courses for teachers/classroom assistants from Glasgow schools and it will be provided as a partnership between the Friends, Botanic Gardens staff and the Royal Horticultural Society (which is already engaged with Glasgow schools.) The courses will be offered free to participating schools.

The next stage is for the public to vote on their preferred projects (there are about 28 projects) each voter can vote for three projects. It is very much a pilot project but nevertheless real funding is available. 

If you would like to see the projects submitted go to

There are many worthwhile projects but we hope you would like to vote for the Friends project, you have to register but it will be worthwhile if we are successful.

Best wishes

The Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Printing in Woodlands Exhibition and Workshops

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Printing in Woodlands Exhibition
Glasgow Botanical Gardens Kibble Palace South Wing 29th Feb/1st March
10 to 4pm
An exhibition of Eco Printing Community art and Workshops in Eco techniques by Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw
29th FEB drop in workshops in Indigo dye tie dye, Cyanotype, Bookbinding, no booking needed.

Happy New Year, what will 2020 bring?

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Happy New Year to all visitors and Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens.
We will hopefully bring you lots of exciting events and highlight interesting additions to the collections over the next couple of months.

One interesting point to make is that 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the arrival of renown plant collector David Douglas to Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

The picture above shows a sketch of the young David Douglas and is reproduced by kind permission from Dr Henry Noltie, RBGE

Douglas moved to Glasgow from his foreman position at Valleyfield House, Fife in the employment of Sir Robert Preston.
During his time working at the Botanic Gardens he attended botanical lectures at the University of Glasgow given by W.J. Hooker. Hooker noted Douglas as a man worthy of his support, and would eventually introduce him to Joseph Sabine, the Honorary Secretary of the Horticultural Society.(Forerunner of the Royal Horticultural Society)
When David Douglas left Glasgow Botanic Gardens as Head Gardener in 1823 he travelled to London where the Horticultural Society had just started sending plant collectors to Africa, China and India. David Douglas was pencilled in for collecting trips to China but given the unstable Chinese political situation he was sent instead to North America. It was in North America he came across the plants that would be eventually associated with one of Scotland most intrepid plant hunters.

In the arboretum at Glasgow Botanic Gardens you can see Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Broad Leaved Maple, Tassel Bush, Western Yellow Pine and Sitka Spruce which are among the most planted of Douglas’s introductions. The trees in Glasgow date from the establishment of the arboretum in 1979 but other sites such as Dawyck Botanic Garden near Peebles in the Scottish Borders and Curraghmore in County Wexford, Ireland still have trees grown from seed collected by Douglas.
In Scotland, good sites for looking at mature trees with Douglas associations include Benmore and Dawyck Regional Gardens of RBGE, Diana’s Grove, Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Reelig Glen, Inverness, Drumlanrig Castle Dumfrieshire and Ardkinglas Castle, Argyll.

Index Seminum 2019/2020

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We will be putting up our Index Seminum Seed Exchange List on the 18rd November 2019.
Please click on this link

The form will be available for completion online only this year and we hope to have orders processed by early 2020.

The exchange is open only to those with an IPEN registration


The Great Escapers- Help us track them down in Glasgow!!

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We are looking outside of the Botanic Gardens for this task in an attempt to assist our partners at the Botanical Society of the British Isles.

As part of a nationwide effort to record as many plant species as possible growing ‘as wild’, the BSBI is very keen to hear from anyone in Glasgow who can report occurrences of garden plants which have ‘escaped’ over the garden wall and into the streetscape or landscape beyond.

Plants such as:

Aconitum napellus (Monk’s-hood)

Alstoemeria aurea (Peruvian Lily)

Campanula rapunculoides (Creeping Bellflower)

Dicentra formosa (Bleeding-heart)

Heuchera (Coralbells – any variety)

Humulus lupulus (Hop)

Iris sibirica (Siberian Iris)

Kniphofia uvaria (Red-hot-poker)

Lilium pyrenaicum (Pyrenean Lily)

Ornithogalum umbellatum subsp. campestre (Garden Star-of-Bethlehem)

Paeonia officinalis (Garden Peony)

Philadelphus (Mock-Orange – any variety)

Ribes alpinum (Mountain Currant)

Vicia faba (Broad Bean)

Please get in touch with any instances of the above, or any other ‘garden escape’.

And we’re also interested to hear of the less common garden weeds or species which may have arrived in gardens of their own accord.

These could include Orchids, marsh plants, ferns – or such weeds as Euphorbia helioscopia (Sun-spurge).The data input remains open for just 50 more days and we still need to add around a dozen species to the Glasgow record.

We’re happy to pay a visit to confirm anything you’re in doubt about.


Send your finds, queries or questions to Michael Philip (BSBI Recorder, vc77 (Lanarkshire))  direct at his contact

Thank you for your help!



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