Posted by: christinelaennec | May 8, 2013

Spring at Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Woosh, a week has gone by since I last posted!  Tilly’s paws and bib are white again, and spring has come to Scotland.  This past weekend was the “May Day Weekend” with Monday being a holiday for many people.  We went down to Glasgow and saw the inside of our house-to-be!  It’s going to be really good and we’re all excited, although there’s a lot of work to be organised for August.  We had a definite feeling of privilege to be moving into a house that has been very much loved by the same family for the past 57 years.

On Sunday morning I had a rare treat – some time all to myself to go for a walk in a beautiful garden.  I’d never been to Glasgow’s famous Botanic Gardens, and they didn’t disappoint.  In comparison to Aberdeen, Glasgow seemed positively lush with green, as the trees there had begun coming into leaf.  And the warmth!  I didn’t need two cardigans under my spring coat, or a hat!

Glasgow Botanic Garden parterres, 5 May 2013

Glasgow Botanic Garden parterres, 5 May 2013

Glasgow Botanic Gardens are renown for their glass houses:

(Some of) the glass houses, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013.

(Some of) the glass houses, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013.

I didn’t have time to go inside.  The plants there are so happy they have seemingly filled every available space.

Glass houses, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013

Glass houses, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013

That will be an adventure for another day.  I thought this view down from a hill was so beautiful, with the sun illuminating the glass house at the bottom:

Looking down at the glass houses, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013

Looking down at the glass houses, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013

It’s lovely to see the tiny leaves just burgeoning on the branches, but at the same time the crisp outlines of the trees allow one to see vistas that will soon be obscured:

View towards the Great Western Road and beyond, from Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013

View towards the Great Western Road and beyond, from Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013

And as if that weren’t enough, there’s a cafe!  The Tea Room at the Botanics.  I got to sit here and have a coffee:

Having a cuppa, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013

Having a cuppa, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013

Oh what a treat, let me tell you!  The staff were very friendly, and offered a dish of water to a dog sitting (with its owners) at a table outside.

One thing I really loved about the gardens was the variety of landscapes.  There’s so much there I didn’t have time to see, including what looked like a fabulous garden for children.  And there were some wild corners as well.  When I see slender white birch trees I always think of fairy tales in which fair maidens are turned into birches:

A quiet corner of Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013.

A quiet corner of Glasgow Botanic Gardens, 5 May 2013.

It was a very restorative break in amongst such a busy week.  I can’t wait until the Dafter can come with me – though she’s not nearly as into gardens as I am.  I’ve been meaning to do a bit of an update on her, which I will soon.  She’d like to write a guest post about how she’s doing, but that takes a lot of time and energy for her these days, so it may be a little while.

My morning in the gardens reminded me of just how much I have to be thankful for, and also how much there is to look forward to.  I hope you’re all having a very good week!



  1. What a lovely place! I feel more restful for just having looked at your photographs! Hopefully your daughter will be able to join you next time, I hope the sun shines for you both! xx

  2. So much to discover! Glasgow is going to be a delightful adventure.
    Tall beech hedges seem to be obligatory in Botanic Gardens.

    Were the citizens of Glasgow all away abroad for the weekend? It seems very empty.

  3. I’m so happy for you, Christine – about your new house, the arrival of spring, and your weekend walk through the gardens. ❤

  4. Oh we loved that garden!!!! We went numerous times! I think we will have to go back just for old time’s sake — and to see how things have changed — including a tearoom!!!! YUM!

    I’m so glad you got a chance to go! I don’t remember where your new home is located in Glasgow but perhaps you will be closeby to visit this garden often?

  5. Lovely pictures. I was amazed to read it was the first time you’ve seen the inside of your house – did you buy it without viewing it? I wouldn’t be so brave!

    • Hi Susie! My husband went to view it, and I’d seen its twin nearby on a separate househunting expedition. We’d already lost out on three properties because we weren’t able to arrange travel for us all to see places in a very quick time-frame. So in this case, we went with our gut instincts, but we didn’t buy it completely sight unseen!

  6. Do you know I’ve lived in Glasgow all my life (quite a few) and I’ve never yet walked round the Botanic gardens! I will address that as soon as possible and follow in your footsteps lol. Hopefully we will get some more good weather in the near future and I too will enjoy an hour or two meandering there. I hope you are all very happy when you move to Glasgow and your new house. x

  7. what great pictures! i especially like the one looking down towards the glass house. Is the Great Western Road anywhere near the Kelvingrove Art Gallery? i was curious what the church spire was in the distance … i guess actually there are 2 … so I looked it up. is one of them St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral? I also liked the photo of the tearoom. They sound like very nice people who work there. so happy for you that things are moving along and that you had a day out in the spring weather.

    • For info The Botanic Gardens on Great Western Road are about a 15-20 minute walk to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

      The picture with the spires – one belongs to the venue Oran Mor at the top of Byres Road where it intersects with Gt Western Rd and the other is the tower at Glasgow University,

  8. What a nice walk you had, Christine. I’ve been wanting to visit the arboretum or botanical garden near our place, but I have to wait until the kids are over with their oh-so-many things and activities. I’m glad you enjoyed your day.

  9. What a nice thing to discover in your new adopted city! Hopefully the beginning of many wonderful walks for you! I can’t wait to see what is inside those amazing glass houses. You do have to show us someday. So glad that you were able to see the inside of your new home. A nice, if not exhaustingly happy adventure! I’m looking forward to a post from The Dafter, too! xx

  10. Life moves at such a pace, doesn’t it? Glad that you found a moment to enjoy the gardens. I’m sure this will become a favourite haunt.

  11. How glorious! I can just imagine how restorative it was for you to visit the Botanics. When I was there the tearoom was under construction and I vowed to go back when it was open; your post has reminded me of that ambition. What a lovely point about your new house having been home to the same family for 57 years, they’re fortunate in selling it to someone who appreciates that history. A guest post from the Dafter some time would be wonderful.

  12. So glad you could go to the Botanic Gardens, it’s one of my fav places around Glasgow. It’s a lovely wee corner for a relaxing day out …the whole year. 🙂 The glass houses are really worth a visit too. Happy day to you and yours.

  13. I often think we incomers see more of the place we now live in than those who have lived here for years! And, I have to say, appreciate it more. I still feel as if I am on holiday after 12 years.

  14. What a lovely “restorative break” . . . and I’ll bet you needed it! The tea house looks like a delightful spot to pause. I’d probably end up spending more time pausing than walking.

    But just a reminder, Christine, I would like to put in a request to see all sides of Glasgow. I want to see gritty, depressing, industrial landscapes too, please 🙂

  15. Looks like a really peaceful, restful place 🙂 I’m so glad you had a chance to take a little break. I’vebeen thinking about your lovely dafter. I hope she will begin to regain her strength soon. All the best to you all !

  16. Dear Everyone,

    Thanks so much for all these lovely comments! Since I started blogging, I am never alone on my walks and expeditions because I’m constantly thinking of sharing it with blog readers. It’s so nice of you to participate.

    Linda, it was early on Sunday morning and by the time I left it was filling up.

    Lorna, you should definitely visit the tea room. It was a really nice place.

    Marksgran, you don’t need me to tell you that there are so many amazing places in Glasgow to discover. I’m not totally surprised you haven’t been to this particular one.

    ajb, to add one more explanation to Kelvingrove’s – the spire on the left was originally a church and since being deconsecrated is now the Oran Mor venue.

    Jill, I know just what you mean. I still feel like I’m on holiday after over 20 years in Scotland! Maybe I am?!

    oldblack, I will endeavour to explore Glasgow as much as possible, including some of the less touristy places. I can’t promise to go down too many dark alleyways, but I will keep your request in mind for sure!

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