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




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