We have a brand new website!



Yes, that’s right. Although the garden remains exactly where it was, the website is moving from WordPress to a brand new site!

We hope you like it as much as we do – we hope that the cleaner layout and easier to navigate format will make it much simpler to find out about events at Bothwell Community Garden, volunteering opportunities and to read and share tips on successful sowing and growing.

This blog will be closing shortly, so please ensure you visit and bookmark the new site – http://www.bothwellcommunitygarden.org.uk

Thank you to each and every one of you who read and contributed to this blog, which started one wet Saturday morning on a whim by a committee member wanting to spread the word of our fantastic garden and everything we were doing, I had no idea when I started it that it would prove so popular!

The Organic Growers of Bothwell  hope you enjoy our new website even more than this blog, and look forward to hearing from you.

Website created and maintained with the generous support of the National Lottery Awards for All.


Wild Chef In The Woods with Alasdair Taylor

Wild in the Woods, Wild in the Garden

The Organic Growers of Bothwell and Brighter Bothwell
Woodlands, Health and Wildlife Gardening Project

with Alasdair Taylor

Sunday 22nd September 2013

Join us for a short walk in Bothwell Woods and discover how to safely identify and harvest edible fungi, fruits and roots with Ranger Alasdair Taylor and join in our wild chef cookery class at Bothwell Community Garden.


This event is STRICTLY LIMITED to 20 participants. To avoid disappointment please email bothwellcommgarden@yahoo.com as soon as possible to book your place.

Bothwell Community Garden at 1.30pm

This event is supported by the Forestry Commission Community Seedcorn Fund

Open Day for Bothwell Scarecrow Festival 2013


Now in its third hugely successful year, the Bothwell Scarecrow Festival returns to the streets of the village all this week, culminating in an action-packed weekend of fun for all the family.

The community garden will be open to the public between 11am and 4pm on SATURDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER. We are conveniently situated right next door to Bothwell Primary School, one of the main event venues; so please do come along and see how our garden grows.

We will have a number of stalls selling plants, homemade preserves, fantastic products from our beekeepers, miniature scarecrows ideal for the parade on Sunday and other garden essentials; as well as our ever popular tombola and our (now famous) delicious home baking to enjoy with a tea, coffee or juice.

We are also delighted to announce that we will have a well-known local children’s author reading stories in our woodland walk; and buskers to keep us entertained too.

We look forward to welcoming you to our garden!

We regret that, with the exception of assistance dogs, we cannot allow dogs into the community garden.

Get the kids outside this summer holiday!

Children listless with the same old, same old? Fed up of trips to cinemas and soft-play and the local park? Whilst we bask in this glorious weather, why not think about packing up a picnic and heading out into the great outdoors for fun and adventure?

Yep, it's my kids again...

Yep, it’s my kids again…

Here are some excellent events happening around the area over the next few weeks:

1. Volunteering at Bothwell Community Garden

Come along on Wednesdays and Sundays at 2pm and show your children how they can play a vital part in keeping our garden looking lovely. They can help to water the plants or wash plant pots in the sunshine; and we have a number of books in the office to help them if they would like to go bug-hunting or flower spotting at the bee and butterfly borders, the woodland walks or the orchard. Spotting sheets are also available at the brilliant Nature Detectives site.

Bring a picnic, and enjoy basking in our sun-trap in front of the potting shed!

(Please ask children not to step on or pick any of the flowers or plants; and we ask that children are closely supervised by an adult if they wish to go down to the bog garden).

2. Nature Explorers at the David Livingstone Centre

Every Tuesday at 1.30pm. £2.00 per child, adults free. Meet at the shop. Please see my review for more information on this excellent activity.


3. Spinning A Yarn – Summer Storytelling And Picnic at The Children’s Garden

Based within the beautiful Glasgow Botanic Gardens, The Children’s Garden is a delightful, safe space for children to come and grow together. On Sunday July 28th, 12pm to 3pm. Free, though donations gratefully received

This time, storyteller Wendy Woolfson will join the children in the willow tunnel. Throw her your thoughts and she’ll weave them into stories. Bring a picnic or food to share. Come, relax, play and enjoy the sunshine and bounty of the garden.


4. Chatelherault Country Park

The park is hosting both a drop in art club on Tuesdays and a drop in activity club on Thursdays until early August. Details can be downloaded as a PDF document here.


5. Wild Woodland Adventures Children’s Festival

Saturday August 3rd, 10am to 5pm. Join the Scottish Wildlife Trust at the Falls of Clyde for a fun packed day. For costs and to book, please call 01555 665262 or contact fallsofclyde@swt.org.uk


Other great places we have on our doorstep to explore include the stunning Bothwell Woods and Clydeside Walk to Bothwell Castle; Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life in Coatbridge; Kittochside Museum of Scottish Rural Life (the visit to the working farm is amazing) and Calderglen Country Park in East Kilbride; Greenbank Gardens NTS (just outside Clarkston); or why not take a stroll down the Glebe and find out how Bothwell’s very own new woodland at Bothwellpark is coming along?

We would love to know how you are spending your summer – drop us a line at bothwellcommgarden@yahoo.com and let us know what you and your children would recommend – if you have any photos of great days out, either at the community garden or further afield, that you’d like to see on this website do please send them in, we’d love to see them!



Review – Nature Explorers at the David Livingstone Centre

The National Trust for Scotland are running a ‘Nature Explorers’ club for children every Tuesday during the summer holidays. I had taken my little smashers (aged 4 and 7) up to the garden this lunchtime; so as the weather was looking fine, we thought we would extend our outdoor time by taking a stroll through the edge of Bothwell Woods, and over the bridge to Blantyre to check out the club.

We were greeted by Richard and Duncan who were our guides for the afternoon and we (five children and two token grown-ups, who are welcome to either accompany the group or to relax with a coffee and a book for the duration) headed down to the Explorers’ Garden for some bug hunting. Despite the weather having been so dry, making sightings of creatures such as snails, woodlice and earwigs difficult, the children spotted a great number of beasties that they could view in magnifying tubs; with Richard describing the differences between creatures such as spiders and harvestmen perfectly for his young audience to understand. We also had a very informative, child orientated talk about bumblebees and their importance to the environment as pollinating insects, and the children were given ‘spotter-sheets’ to take home so they could identify other bumblebees they see.


We moved then down to the pond, where the children hugely enjoyed pond-dipping; discovering, amongst other things, diving beetles, sticklebacks, great pond snails and tadpoles in several stages of development (if you look closely at the picture, you will see some ‘teenage’ tadpoles with the legs already formed). The children found the tadpoles particularly fascinating and, again, Richard and Duncan answered every question simply, yet informatively and enthusiastically.

All too soon the 90 minutes were up, and it was time to return our pond beasts to their homes and head home (via the toilets to wash our hands, and the ice-cream freezer to suck money out of mummy’s wallet, of course); and my boys are desperate to come along again next week. Each week will focus on different aspects of nature, so there may not be more pond dipping; but parents are welcome to ring in advance to find out what will be on the menu in forthcoming weeks.

To sum up, I am really glad I took the boys along. I would say that the 90 minutes is just the right amount of time to keep most children enthralled (my 4 year old, who does not have the best attention span, started flagging a little towards the end and just ran around the trees); I would say it is absolutely perfect for children aged between 6 and 10. Richard and Duncan were fantastic with the children, explaining everything in a really understandable and fun way which generated plenty more questions and stories from the children, which is a sure sign of great teaching, in my opinion. Mini-beasts, birds and underwater creatures all feature in the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence (my sons have studied mini-beasts both at nursery and at school) so this is an ideal opportunity to either reinforce their knowledge and interest, or introduce them to the subject in a very hands-on, hugely entertaining way. And visiting our garden, and walking to Blantyre through the woodland made it an even greater adventure!

Nature Explorers at the David Livingstone Centre, Blantyre (meet in shop)

Every Tuesday during the summer holidays, 1.00pm – 2.30pm

£2.00 per child, adult supervisors free of charge (no need to have NTS membership or pay for entry to the museum).

Tel: 0844 93 2207 or email amritchie@nts.org.uk for further information. Leaflets on this, and other events at the David Livingstone Centre are available in the foyer of Bothwell Library, or see http://www.nts.org.uk


Every Tuesday 1.00pm – 2.30pm

A Wonderful Woodland Walk


On Saturday June 8th; members of Bothwell Community Garden and Brighter Bothwell were joined by villagers and Forestry Commission Ranger Alasdair Taylor for the ‘Wild In The Woods, Wild in the Garden’ walk in the beautiful environs of the Bothwell Woods.

We were absolutely blessed by the weather, and it was wonderful to see so many new faces, both young and young at heart, coming along to find out how to create a vital slice of woodland in their own gardens.

Captivating the children..

Captivating the children..

The walk introduced us to many of the native trees, plants and animals we live alongside; and Alasdair explained how ‘Woodland Edge’ ecosystems are hugely beneficial to wide range of creatures throughout the year; providing animals, insects and birds with sustenance and shelter.

Some of Alasdair’s tips to creating a slice of woodland in your own garden

1. Don’t cut your grass too short. If you must have a pristine lawn, do try and leave at least a small area to grow long and set seed; as grasses are vital to many small birds and provide cover and shelter for many beneficial insects.

2. Sow wildflowers into a patch of your garden, or even in a tub, to attract bees and butterflies; but ensure that the wildflower mix you use contains only those plants native to your area. This ensures that ‘rogue species’ do not start to proliferate and drown out or hybridise with local plant varieties.

3. Don’t be too strict about sweeping up and removing leaf-litter and garden detritus such as old logs. What may look like a mouldy old tree trunk to you is a vibrant ecosystem of creatures and fungi. Try and keep an area in your garden that is just for nature, and let nature do its thing.

4. Try and plant shrubs or small trees such as berberis or rowan to provide vital berries to birds during the Autumn and Winter months.

5. Insect and animal shelters; as well as ‘nesting balls’ full of twigs, hair, feathers etc and hung from trees will attract creatures to make your garden their home. Remember – if you find a nest, even if it is somewhere inconvenient for you, you MUST NOT move it. Please also note that hedges, which are vital nesting spots for many birds, must not be cut between the months of March and August to avoid scaring the birds from their nests. It is an offence, under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to intentionally take, destroy or damage a nest  whilst it is being built or in use (please remember that some wild birds have second clutches, so seeing a first fledge may not be enough), and that includes frightening birds from their eggs or distressing nestlings and fledglings.

For further advice, please contact your local RSPB or the British Trust for Ornithology.

We have received some wonderful feedback about this walk and how informative people found it; and we look forward to our next Wild In The Woods, Wild in Garden event this coming Autumn. We would like to extend our thanks to Alasdair for such a great talk, and to everyone who came along.

(I would also like to say a huge thanks to Marjory for the fantastic photos of the day which are shown here.)


This project is supported by the Forestry Commission Community Seedcorn Trust.

Extended Opening Times – Part Two!



We will be open for plant sales


Bedding and container plants

Sweet Peas

Stunning hanging baskets

(Large mixed £12.00; medium serfinia £7.00)


Plants attractive to bees and butterflies

Vegetable plants

including windowsill parsley and chives, lettuce and brassicas

Tuesday 28th May— Friday 31st May




Gardening for Scottish Wildlife – A Walk and Talk with Ranger Alasdair Taylor

Wild in the Woods, Wild in the Garden

The Organic Growers of Bothwell and Brighter Bothwell

Woodlands, Health and Wildlife Gardening Project


A Walk and Talk with Alasdair Taylor



On Saturday 8th June meet at Bothwell Community Garden at 1.30 pm to take part in a walk highlighting gardening for Scottish wildlife and learn how you can make your garden attractive to birds, bees and butterflies.  By using the right plants and techniques you can create a tiny but vital slice of wild woodland on your doorstep.


This event will start with a short walk in Bothwell Woods, followed by a guided tour of our garden to see our own wildlife garden areas. Alasdair Taylor, the ranger taking this walk, will include storytelling about the folklore of some of the plants which grow in our local area.

Sturdy footwear and rain jackets are probably advisable judging by our weather so far this year! Please note that dogs, with the exception of assistance dogs, cannot be permitted entry to the Community Garden.



This project is supported by the Forestry Commission Community Seedcorn Trust.

Extended opening times at the garden this week!


A huge thank you to everyone who – like these young ladies – kept a spring in their step and came along, despite the weather, to our Open Day. It was lovely to see so many new faces and have the chance to chat to you all.


Enormous thanks also go to Zero Waste Scotland and the Scottish Beekeepers’ Association who came along; and everyone who volunteered their time to help out on the day, provided absolutely delicious home-baking and preserves, donated prizes to the tombola and helped take photographs of the event (thank you Marjory and Ann).

We understand that the inclement weather may have made coming along difficult, and with that in mind we have decided to give you all more chances to come along and purchase plants. We have beautiful bedding and container plants; a selection of gorgeous perennials; native wild flowers attractive to bees and butterflies; vegetable plants and, once again, our stunning hanging baskets designed and created by the garden volunteers. With prices starting at just 30p per plant, we are a fraction of the price of the garden centres – and we are local so no need to get in the car!

We will be open between 2.00pm and 3.30pm every day this week, so do please drop by and visit us. Again, we regret that we are unable to allow dogs into the garden, with the exception of assistance dogs.





Seed Blitzing Bothwell Park


The weather may have been somewhat dreich and drab; but it was absolutely wonderful to see so many smiling faces joining members of Bothwell Community Garden, Brighter Bothwell and ranger Alasdair Taylor at our seed-bombing day at the new Forestry Commission site at Bothwell Park.

The team, expertly led by Alasdair, planted a variety of perennial plants which, in a few years, will blanket the ground around the paths; but the greatest fun of all was the seed-bombing which, as you can see, was thoroughly enjoyed by people of all ages!

A favourite tool of ‘guerilla gardeners’, the seed-bombs contained a mixture of native wildflower and grass seeds (it is imperative that we only sow seeds that are native to this area), and were thrown into areas more difficult to reach. The clay in the bombs will break down, and the seeds will germinate, then nature takes over and, over the coming years, the flowers and grasses will spread throughout the site, attracting bees, butterflies and other native fauna.

Making (and then throwing!) seed-bombs is fantastic (if messy!) fun for children of all ages, as the schoolchildren from Bothwell Primary who came along to help us make 700 (yes, 700!) of them will testify. If you could like to have a go at making some yourselves, and introducing some wildflower seeds to your local area, you can find a simple to follow guide suitable for children as young as three here.

Alasdair will be joining us again at the garden on June 8th for a short talk on Gardening for Scottish Wildlife as part of Bothwell Community Garden and Brighter Bothwell’s ‘Wild in the Woods, Wild in the Garden’ project, supported by the Forestry Commission’s Community Seedcorn Fund; so if you want to find out how to turn a patch of your garden – or even a pot – into a haven for local wildlife, do come along and join us. Further details to follow.