Thursday, 15 November 2012

Notes for November

Mid-November and the sound of a digger accompanied me on a recent walk round the Garden. This was not clearance of some wind-damaged victim. This was deliberate prior to establishing an eco building to the east of the Mediterranean Section. The building is an on-going project by Architecture students and Dundee University. Modern architecture can be exciting so we will watch this space. 
Alasdair Hood is now safely back from his visit to Australia and New Zealand. He obviously encountered more sun than those of us who stayed at home. 
As the clocks were put back it seemed to stimulate a change and autumn came to the Garden in a few short days Leaves carpet the the ground in shades of gold as the temperature fluctuates between 13 degrees C and very cold. A recent forecast of the winter to come suggests I buy some more thermals.
The Friends are participating in the West End Christmas Fayre on Saturday, 17th November. This allows us to meet people who may not be visitors to the Garden and hopefully they will fill in our questionnaire so we can discover what would make it attractive to them. We will also publicise Gardens' Question time which takes place on 1st December. 
Christmas is fast approaching - and still the grass grows!

Frances Tait 

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Frances has offered to give us monthly updates on what to look for in the garden. Here's the first one. 

The Wednesday afternoon lecture series got off to a splendid start on 10th October when Louise Bustard, Education Officer at Glasgow Botanic Garden, spoke on “Plants Can Kill”. This humorous and knowledgeable lecturer talked with enthusiasm about every day plants known to us all in gardens or on countryside walks. Almost fifty people attended and, despite hiccups with the University’s I T system, this was a remarkable start to the season. As a gardener I am accustomed to wearing gloves and  washing my hands when I come inside. Now I shall do it with a little more care and I shall watch with trepidation where my host puts her proffered bunch of daffodils when I call in spring. (Don't ask) After such a successful beginning whom shall we call on for the 2012/14 session? Suggestions are welcome!

As the days and nights grow colder, the Garden puts on a new set of clothes. Gone are the greens, the blue-greens and the green-greens. Now come a range not seen throughout the rest of the year. The weeping branches of the parotia on the far side of the pond seem to be on fire while the birch leaves glow creamy yellow and greenish bronze. Look out for the oaks, both English and Red, that surprise us with their variations in colour and shape.

There are still flowers to be found;: peppermint pink nerines at the rear of the glasshouse, muted red species dahlias to the south and, nearby, the ranks of watsonia and crocosmia stand in orange livery. Look at the trees outside the Visitors’ centre and you will see  texture and bark colour that rivals their spring display.  Search and you will find the leaves and flowers of winter-flowering cyclamen. Deeper In the Garden the rhododendrons, camellias, and magnolias are carrying their spring buds.  Take a walk yourself! There is much to enjoy  to in these winter months.