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

GARDENING FOR SCOTTISH WILDLIFE 

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.

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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.

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

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Extended opening times at the garden this week!

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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.

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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.

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Seed Blitzing Bothwell Park

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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.

Grow flowers for bees – A guest post by Brigit Strawbridge

It was truly amazing that Europe voted to support the partial ban on neonicotinoids this week, not least because it demonstrates a shifting awareness and consciousness of the importance of pollinators. However, although the restrictions will help enormously, they will not in themselves stop bee decline.

We need to continue the momentum we have built up on the pesticides issue, but also we all need, urgently, to PLANT MORE FLOWERS!

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We have lost a staggering 98% of wildflower meadows and grasslands in the UK since the 1940’s. It is difficult to change agricultural practices overnight, but it is easy for those of us with gardens to fill every available space in ours with nectar & pollen rich flowers.

Many people say they haven’t room for flowers because they are using it all to grow fruit & veg – but without the flowers to sustain the pollinators throughout their life-cycles….. there will BE no fruit & veg!

Others say they can’t afford to buy plants or seeds, but there is not a gardener on the planet who would not willingly and freely share cuttings or seeds from their established plants.

If you are wondering what to plant, just go to your local garden centre and buy whatever flowering plants are covered with bees…..or look in your neighbours’ gardens to see which of their plants are being enjoyed by bees and ask for a cutting, or seeds when they set seed.

My favourite website for information on attracting pollinators to your garden is Foxleas:

http://www.foxleas.com/

And my favourite book is the recently published ‘Plants for Bees’:
http://www.ibra.org.uk/articles/plantsforbees

Brigit ‘Bee’ Strawbridge is probably best known as one of the stars of the very successful BBC series ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’ and  is an enthusiastic and very successful campaigner for the planet. Brigit has been a major influence in spreading the word about bee decline and the dangers of neonictotinoids throughout media outlets and social networking. She offers talks and workshops throughout the UK and has written a number of hugely inspiring articles for the national press and many environmental websites. You can follow Bee’s fantastic blog here.

Inspired by Brigit’s post? Please join us for our seed-bombing afternoon at Bothwell Park on Sunday May 12th; and our Gardening for Scottish Wildlife course on Saturday June 8th.

Beautiful flower beds in Culzean Castle grounds.

Beautiful flower beds in Culzean Castle grounds.

Please help save The Children’s Garden

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The beautiful Children’s Garden, based in the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow’s West End, was set up ten years ago by John Hancox and is considered by many to be one of the best community gardens and learning hubs for young children in Scotland.

It is now under threat. Glasgow City Council have served the garden a notice to say that they intend to gain access to the site; remove a beautiful willow sculpture; cut down many blossoming fruit trees; and take over two of the garden’s raised beds for their own use.

Please sign and share the petition to help keep this wonderful resource and, if you can, take your children or grandchildren there for a lovely Spring day out and show your support – and show Glasgow City Council how much the garden is loved.

You can follow The Children’s Garden on Facebook here.

 

Dates for your Diary 2013

Dates you don’t want to miss in 2013

Sunday 12th May 2013

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Seed Bombing Day at Bothwell Park Woods

Saturday 18th May

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Bothwell Community Garden Open Day

Saturday 8th June

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Gardening for Scottish Wildlife (part of the Wild in the Woods, Wild in the Garden Woodlands, Health and Wildlife Gardening Project). Learn how to bring more birds, bees and butterflies to your garden by using the right plants and the right techniques to bring a tiny but vital slice of woodland outside your door.

Sunday 23rd June

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The Big Lunch UK – An Eden Project – come together with friends and family, bring a picnic and have lunch at the garden in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

Saturday 14th September

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Open Day for the brilliant Bothwell Scarecrow Festival – stalls, refreshments and home baking – visitors welcome!

Sunday 22nd September

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Wild Chef in The Woods (part of the Wild in the Woods, Wild in the Garden Woodlands, Health and Wildlife Gardening Project) – learn to safely and responsibly identify and harvest wild food, and join us for a wild food cookery demonstration at the garden.

Sunday 6th October

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Woods for Healing: Herbal Medicine from wild plants (part of the Wild in the Woods, Wild in the Garden Woodlands, Health and Wildlife Gardening Project).

Sunday 27th October

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The return of Spooky Sunday – time to have spooky Hallowe’en fun and games in the garden as night falls!

Remember – the volunteers meet each Sunday and Wednesday at 2pm; and there are jobs for everyone, regardless of ability! We would love to see you at the garden – tea, coffee, juice and biscuits (and sometimes even cake!) are provided.

Seed Bombing Day at Bothwell Park Woods

Join us for a seed blitz!

Sunday 12th May 2013

Meet:

Bothwell Community Garden at 1.30pm

or

Bothwell Park Woods (access via lane at the side of the Gopal Garage, New Edinburgh Road) at 2.00pm

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As part of The Organic Growers of Bothwell and Brighter Bothwell’s ‘Wild in the Woods, Wild in the Garden’ Woodlands, Health and Wildlife Gardening Project; we are inviting you to join us to visit the fantastic new Forestry Commission Woodland at Bothwell Park. The Forestry Commission have planted 20,000 new trees on the land which was formerly used as a municipal landfill site; and it promises to be a wonderful green space that future generations will treasure.

The purpose of our visit is to plant native wildflower plug-plants and throw wildflower ‘seed-bombs’ into those areas of woodland difficult to reach. This will prove invaluable at increasing biodiversity and providing vital habitat for bees, butterflies, and other local fauna. The walk will be led by ranger Alasdair Taylor, and kindly supported by the Forestry Commission’s Community Seedcorn Fund.

So don your sturdy shoes and join us for a fun family afternoon out in the fresh air ‘blitzing’ Bothwell, and helping bees and butterflies in the process!

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