Shortest Day and Best Wishes 20/12/2017

We are almost at the shortest day of the year, it’s dark and most of the collection outside are enduring cold temperatures and typical Glasgow conditions. 

The Weeping Ash, a tree that was moved from the original Sandyford Botanic Gardens site, is caught (pictured below) covered in frost in the winter sun.

However, inside the glasshouses there is still a lot to see too.

In 2017, a lot of effort was put into cutting back some of the larger specimens in the Palm House. A star of the main range, the Bolivian Powderpuff (Calliandra inaequilatera) was reduced and it’s with a certain professional relief that we see the plant producing flower buds once again.

In the Arid Houses, the African Starfish plant, (Stapelia grandiflora) is still flowering. This could be your chance to sniff the flowers and discover exactly what attracts all the flies.

Still showing well in the orchid house (below) is this Paphiopedilum x leeanum

and in festive colours is the Maxillaria sp. Debate is currently raging as to whither it is Maxillaria coccinea or Maxillaria miniata. Answers, as ever, on a postcard to the usual address.


Our volunteer team, who play a vital role in maintaining the living collection inside and out have celebrated the season with a gathering in the Botanic Gardens library.


There was tea, mince pies and lots of ‘healthy’ snacks which led up to a visit from Santa.

People have remarked that our previous Curator Paul Matthews, with his white beard and jovial personality, bears more than a passing resemblance to the Christmas bringer of gifts. Imagine the volunteers surprise when Santa handed out the cakes and then launched into 50 minute presentation entitled ‘The Plant Kingdom -The Good, The Bad and the Ugly’.


At GBG, we have had a very busy year in 2017 with lots of highlights around the Bicentenary Celebrations, the arrival onsite of the Scottish Rural College and who could forget the dinosaurs roaming wild about the gardens. 

2018 is the 30th Anniversary of the Glasgow Garden Festival and there are plans to celebrate this city wide. We have many new ideas for around the Gardens and we are involved with The Glasgow Tree Lovers’ Society to add to the tree collection. Why not come along and find out what we are up to?

So whatever you do at this time of year, we hope you have a Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Best wishes from all at Glasgow Botanic Gardens.