Sunday 2nd November

Notes from the Work session:

Sunny day in the garden ended abruptly as most of the volunteers were keen to seek cover from the hail stones. Santiago, Dan, Hannah, Michael, Fiona, Dascha and Ro.
Welcome to Fiona coming for the first time :)

What we worked through... 
Sea Lavender was planted on the eastern entrance to the garden.
Leeks were planted but where? 

The long planter construction was finished and put in position beside the wall in the deepest corner of willowbank. It was filled with soil but was it lined to protect the wood? Is this something we wish to do?
It was covered later in the evening with empty soil sacks. Please Willowbank Gardeners... we must protect the soil from the cats shitting in the raised beds, more tempting to them when they lie empty... so we must try to cover them with netting/wire.

Three of us went door chapping in the neighbourhood to invite folks to the open day on 9th November. Really positive feedback and great to get to know the local faces more!

The last old herb bed which housed the fennel and parsely was dug over and covered with wire. This parsley now in the main parsley patch and the fennel in two big pots against the wall on the concrete. This will need replanted into something deeper soon. The quality of the soil of the two dark wood raised beds is very poor so we need to sort this out before we plant them up again. Chicken shit will be come!

In Cafe Phoneix we shared ideas on the evolution of Willowbank and how we wish to communicate as a community. We aim to have another work session during the week but wish to find out when suits the local community and people who rarely can come to sunday sessions before this goes on.  We also aim to have a fortnightly or perhaps weekly cup of tea in a local cafe post work session/s. Ideally we would love to have a free place we could gather that is open for all to join but until we find this space we will meet in Cafe Phoneix for an hour or so after the sunday work session... great to plan ahead for the coming week and to warm up from being in the garden. We will also aim to record what we do in the garden and publish it here as well as discuss what is going on with admin/funding bids at these cups of tea chats to help with transparency of the project and to work more coherently as a collective.

26th October Work session

Sunday dreich was our welcome, and much to be done for the wee team in attendance. After blether, the compost was once again de-citrused, and turnit ower. Please, the compost is not wanting for citric acid. It'll no get scurvy anytime soon, so lemons, oranges, tangerines, pineapple.... to make use of citrus skins, dry them, mull wine with them, as ye will - but the compost is made an inhospitable habitat by acidity. There was also, somewhat more mysteriously, a chocolate Muffin. The Green Johanna, our new compost bin, may have a fine appetite, but regardless of what its literature states, all bio-degradeable substances will not compost equally well within, and please ask yourself - would what I'm going to add nourish the compost at all? A guideline will be in the garden soon to consult for composting. Be considerate and take a look, and we'll have handsome, healthy compost to feed the garden, and therefore ourselves also.

The orphaned tomatoes were uprooted, sad as it is to curtail their lives, they were not going to fruit and the colder nights had already claimed the few flowers that had seemed promising.

Tulips bulbs were re-housed; Willowbank is a wee green place, and we wish for food to thrive here. The flowers from the council, behind the bike, will also go elsewhere, and a lined bed in their place can delight the stomach much more than they the eyes. The soil was cleared to some degree of glass and detritus (though much still remains), and turned over. Tis the home of many a worm.

The garlic bed, as was, has been cleared, the garlic flitting in with the kale next door fer the noo; sowing the same crop in a place is detrimental to the nutritional quality of the soil, and we wish to encourage bio-diversity and more tolerant crops, using our own seeds etc. for future sowings. This soil was also de-shitted, as Cat manure does not bonny compost create. The bed is un-sown at present, awaiting a feed of manure.
The weary chilli was re-potted (temporarily?) next door to the lock up, and if someone could offer a warm and caring home to the plant over Winter, please do.
The basket bed in the centre has been emptied, cabbages and mint relocated - cabbages to the lavender barrel temporarily, someone pleases make use and eat what is grown! Willowbank is not an ornamental endeavour! The mint has taken shelter beside the wall, and Horse Chestnuts which were dicovered there placed, in pots, on the former tulip patch (there were 9), and in the earth below the closer elder tree (a further four - if and when they begin to make good of their growth, they'll be re-planted elsewhere). Also in the bed which housed the tulips is a fuchsia from the bed nearest the compost, this bush right at the corner of the entrance. The bed was cleared, turned over and is now covered - for the moment with the whole rolls of chicken wire, and weighted with a paving stone, so as not to be interfered with by cats or planting - this soil will be fertilised with manure, and maybe sown with green manure crops over winter for fertility. 

Lavender was relocated from the bread bin, now resident beside the parsley.
Some of the scrawny kale plants have been composted, and straggling vessels emptied.

Shite from around the garden was cleared, glass, crisp packets etc. an extensive clean up operation soon, for glass especially, would be the grand thing.
Weeding, naturally, took up every other moment.

The last two of us were invited in by a neighbour, Ravi, for tea and talk of the space. She's been before and intends to spend more time at Willowbank garden. Up with this sort of thing!

Winter sowing was plotted and will be undertaken in the coming weeks.
The bonniest of the cabbages was harvested, and will nourish appreciative folk soon.

Other matters:
A staple gun is required, and asking the council for a litter picker would be a fine idea. 
Could we know what type of Broad Beans have been sown?

Gàidhlig ~ Gaelic
Facal an latha ~ word of the day:

Talamh - Earth, soil. Talamh bàn is fertile ground, or literally a feminine ground.
Where we are headed, as a garden, and as mortal creatures....

Early October Work Sessions

Hello and thanks to the new flux of Willowbank Energy!

Sunny autumnal days have brought beautiful progress to the land of Willowbank... 
New developments... 
Tidying up the leaf litter and pruning the Hawthorn Tree... 

Tending the raised beds by harvesting the onions, tatties, kale and garlic... These beds will be replanted in crop rotation and the soil will be organically conditioned towards nurturing a bonnie harvest next year... 

Come along to our Sunday work sessions 1 til 3pm... 
There will be a Community Open Day on the 9th November... more information coming soon... 
We also hope to host weekday work sessions for those busy bees on a Sunday who canny make it as well as our Thursday Wood-working sessions with Galgael... 
More updates on this coming soon...

Kind wishes from the Willowbank Gardeners 

Job Opportunity with...

Are you a student of Glasgow University? 
Are you interested in promoting sustainability to the university?
Curious to research for innovative projects which help improve the environmental practice of the campus and the community? 
Passionate about communicating environmental issues? 
Feel you can commit at least 12 hours per week?  

Then apply to be part of The Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team.... 
This is a paid part time work placement scheme for university students.
Amongst the nine roles we are recruiting for is the Willowbank Garden Supporting position.

GUEST is the student-led environmental sustainability body of the University of Glasgow. We work to encourage collaborations between management, academics, students, and social and environmental organisations within the wider local community. 

It is our principal aim to improve the environmental practice of the University of Glasgow. We strive to encourage positive transformations as a means to promote sustainability across all levels of the University establishment. 
Our vision is to achieve an action-oriented University sustainability policy by empowering the community within and without, to be aware of and open to positive ecological change. We aim to inspire the community to participate in sustainability policy-making and implementation at the university.

An ecologically aware lifestyle is potentially available to everyone; sometimes all it requires is a catalyst. This is where GUEST extends its hand, encouraging a culture of thinking and behaving with environmental responsibility, providing flexible options for varying lifestyles, and giving rise to nurture and growth of self.

PHOTOS | Willowbank in Spring

Some photos of Willowbank in all of its beautiful spring glory on a sunny day back in early May...

REVIEW | Willowbank Stall!

Today we were at the Fraser Building at Glasgow Uni to talk to the students and staff about how they can get involved in the Willowbank Community Garden project! We had lots of interest and got a bunch of new people signing up to our mailing list. If you've not joined already, be sure to send an email to

REVIEW | Work Session 16.03.14

This week we were lucky to have a load of free woodchips delivered to the garden by Colin Hunter: Tree Surgeon. The woodchips have been used to cover the children's play area of the garden. There are also plenty of free woodchips left over for anyone who wants to help themselves!

PHOTOS | Last session at Galgael

Some of the fruits of our labour, building signs and a noticeboard for the garden...

UPDATE | Woodworking at GalGael

For the past three weeks, a group of volunteers from Willowbank have been meeting every Thursday at GalGael in Govan, to build a noticeboard and signs for the garden out of wood.
During the first session, we were introduced to using tools in the workshop. The second session involved practicing carving, and at our third session we began work on the sign itself, carving the words 'Welcome to Willowbank' into a beautiful piece of wood. We also got to use a great tool to burn words into the wood!

One of our volunteers, Michael, has created an amazing design for the noticeboard itself! This is what we're aiming towards...

The workshops are a great opportunity for our volunteers to learn woodworking skills in a relaxed and friendly environment - for free! If you'd like to participate in these work sessions, you can join our Facebook group, or drop an email to

REVIEW | Guerrilla Gardening Workshop

As part of Go Green Week, the Willowbank Community Garden teamed up with Xchange Scotland to host a guerrilla gardening workshop! Participants learned all about the philosophy of guerrilla gardening before getting stuck in to making some seedbombs and moss graffiti, as well as upcycling used containers into plant pots! :)

A lovely video of the workshop was also made which you can watch here!