Botanic Gardens Opening Hours Changes

Posted on

Due to the event taking place at the Botanic Gardens please note the following changes to opening hours.

From Friday 26th October till Sunday 11th November the Glasshouses will shut at 4.00pm

The Gardens’ gates will shut at 5.00pm on Friday 26th October and Saturday 26th October.

From Sunday 27th October until Sunday 11th November the Gardens’ gates will close at 4.00pm

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.


HABITAT-an exhibition. What plants remind you of home?

Posted on

With the help from local artist Martha Orbach we are running a couple of drawing sessions and screen-printing workshops culminating in an exhibition in the Kibble Palace in December.



The classes are free as they are funded by the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens but you must book via eventbrite-search Habitat or email

The Friends are working with Maryhill Integration Network, Govan Community Projects to deliver this project with the opening day on Human Rights Day, 10th December.

October Update

Posted on

The Humpbacked Bridge that joins the Gardens to the Kelvin Walkway was reopened in mid-September.


September didn’t leave without a violent goodbye, in the shape of Storm Ali.

The Gardens had to close completely; which is a rare event. The amount of branches and trees coming down on paths made this a necessity and, one day later, the Gardens team aided by the City Arbor Team started to clean up trees and reopen paths.

A large beech failed beside the Queen Margaret Bridge and fell safely into the River Kelvin.

On a brighter note we saw the Lord Provost and the Chinese Consul General open an exhibition in the Kibble Palace. This was about the Chinese Community’s experiences of Glasgow life from the 1950s onward. Its based on the personal tales of elder community members who have been interviewed as part of a project co-ordinated by the Chinese Community Development Partnership.

Further afield.

As part of our review of the National Collection of Begonias held at Glasgow Botanic Gardens we have managed to fund the services of horticultural taxonomist Dr Alan Elliott. In his spare time working at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Alan has been contributing to the Flora of Nepal.

The Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens have helped Alan with funds to cover accommodation for his latest expedition to Nepal. In the latest photo update Alan can be found pressing plant specimens at Jajarikot Khalanga, in this case a species of endemic Himalayan Clematis. (Clematis gouriana).

Maybe we could start to gather pictures of Glasgow Botanic Gardens t shirts in exotic places?

Finally, its back to October in Glasgow, and bright Acer colours down by the main gate.

Spring CPH Students receive their awards

Posted on

On Saturday, the students who completed the 2018 Spring course of the Certificate of Practical Horticulture were awarded their certificates in the South Wing of the Kibble Palace. A special award was also made by the Baldernock Gardening Club to the ‘most improved’ student. The recipient was Karen, a student who traveled down every day from Aberdeen to attend the course and is determined to pursue a career in horticulture. Well done to everyone, and thanks to lead tutor Paul (far right) and assistant tutor Lisa (far left) for making the course as successful and friendly as usual.

Holy Smoke Robin!! It’s the Bat and Moth Night!!

Posted on


On the 31st of August, as we slowly slip into Autumn, why not come along to the Bat and Moth Night at Glasgow Botanic Gardens.

Meet near the Kibble Palace after 7.00pm for a 7.30 pm start.

Please contact Scott Donaldson at to book your place.

Once more unto the beech…

Posted on

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


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.


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,


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.



From Knotty Ash to Weeping Ash

Posted on

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)

Posted on

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.




Posted on


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.