Glasgow, in Scotland, is a city renowned for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant urban life. The city holds within its heart a small collection of exquisite botanical treasures. Nestled amidst the bustling streets and historic architecture, Glasgow’s botanical gardens offer an oasis of serenity and natural beauty.
Let’s embark on a journey to uncover the hidden gems within the city. These horticultural havens not only showcase a stunning array of flora but also provide a glimpse into the city’s enduring love for nature, poetry, and community. So, let’s explore these enchanting green spaces, each with its own unique charm and stories waiting to be discovered.
1. Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Known as the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, visitors have described the gardens as a ‘serene oasis’, a ‘different world’. It rather looks as if the Singapore Airport simply shrunk itself and decided to take a small vacation in the vibrant Scottish city! This garden, however, has been in Glasgow for just over 200 years! Founded in 1817, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens now houses over 9,000 plant species.
Entry to the park is free and there are many routes for you to follow. In a place such as the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, it’s easy to get your steps in for the day. This treasure trove of botanical wonders from all over the world attracts millions of tourists each year, and it’s easy to assume why! The dome structure now houses a forest of tree ferns, carnivorous plants, African and American desert habitats with cacti and succulents of all shapes, colours and sizes and so much more!
2. The Hidden Gardens
Don’t be surprised if you find it hard to locate the Hidden Gardens. Shocker, but the Hidden Gardens are obscured by urban structures and dwellings. It’s like a little secret that you get to partake in! It’s a park-like garden with a rainbow of plants to gaze at.
It’s also an opportunity to reconnect with fellow city dwellers, and this urban oasis is the perfect backdrop for meeting new friends. The setting of the Hidden Garden is just as interesting as the concept itself. Surrounded by tram works and the railway station, you can gaze to where the garden’s borders end and find temple domes and spires that seem to pierce the sky like rusty straw.
Usually over the weekend, there is live music in the square and food stalls, making it perfect for a small getaway! There are educational trails for the whole family to enjoy, plant identification workshops and gardening training. The range of activities spans across the board of things you can do, like Tai Chi!
When you seek to find the Hidden Gardens, you might just never leave as soon as you have been successful in your quest! You can even volunteer for the Hidden Gardens, just to add that to the list of activities you can participate in. It’s easy to see why the Hidden Gardens are among the top Glasgow botanic gardens that can make dreams come true!
3. Scottish Poetry Rose Garden
The Scottish Poetry Rose Garden was opened back in 2003 to pay a small tribute to Glasgow’s most eclectic Scottish poems. The first dedicated poems were written by Robert Henryson, who wrote during the 15th century. Thereafter, other poets were also paid a small tribute. These poets include Gavin Douglas, Robert Fergusson, Violet Jacob and many more! The most recent of the poets is George Mackay Brown, who wrote during the 18th century.
The tribute to all of these great Scottish poets and their actual poems lies unassumingly in the corner of Queens Park on the south side of Glasgow. There are paths to follow in Queens Park, and they are all arranged in the traditional Celtic and Monastic forms.
What’s that you may wonder? Well, what makes these paths special is that they are arranged around a large boulder, on which it is inscribed MacDiarmid’s The Little White Rose. At every intersection of the inscription is an inscribed stone disc, commemorating another poet from the 3 main strands of Scottish verse, namely English, Scots and Gaelic.
If you’re someone who appreciates historical literature or the merging of nature and verse, then the Scottish Poetry Rose Garden is meant for your wonderment. This highly unique garden establishes its place among the top Glasgow botanic gardens to make your dreams come true!
Wellness Benefits of Gardens
Did you know that gardens are extremely healthy for you? Studies around the globe have directly attributed the impacts of gardening to better quality of life in urban and rural settings alike. Every age group benefits from this magical sphere of gardening and spending time in gardens.
The first benefit of spending time in the garden is that it relieves stress! In fact, studies found that gardening relieves more stress than reading. So, you may be tempted to stop reading, put on your gardening gloves and find that darn gardening shovel that you had put away years ago. But don’t, I still have a few benefits to share!
Okay, thank you for reading on. The second benefit that gardening affords is that it combats dementia. Turns out that gardening can account for a 36% drop in the risk of dementia. Gardening also helps to fight chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Furthermore, this activity has been shown to be an effective mood booster.
Avid gardeners have reported increased positivity and optimism, those who suffer from depression also experience gardening combats the mental illness incredibly effectively. It’s a way for people to connect, a way for people to express themselves through the phenomenon of blossoms, and a way for people to feel the natural world more intensely. It truly is an understated wellness activity. However, I have a feeling that it might just catch on in the gym.
If you enjoy this article, be sure to read about the unique hotels in Glasgow city centre and surrounds.
Seed Between the Lines
If you’re craving the outdoors, with nature bursting at the seams, then Glasgow has the options for that yearnful escape. Glasgow Botanic Garden, The Hidden Garden, and the Scottish Poetry Rose Garden are not only sanctuaries of natural beauty but also a testament to the enduring spirit of community and culture in Scotland.
Whether you’re a local seeking moments of tranquillity or a traveller in search of hidden horticultural treasures, these gardens offer a window into Glasgow’s soul. Each bloom, tree, and poetic verse is a reminder of the city’s deep-rooted connection to nature and tranquillity.