Updated: Jul 1, 2021
The old Demonstration Garden in Muiredge Terrace in Baillieston is undergoing a transformation that will revitalise this underused area. Barbara McLaughlin, among other members of Brighter Baillieston and the local community, meet on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10.30 am at the existing site. They are working hard to cultivate a welcoming garden for socialising amongst nature. Barbara is encouraging Baillieston residents to “get Baillieston growing” and is passionate about the wider impacts it could have for the community.
There are exciting plans for how the space will take shape over the upcoming months, and they are looking for help to bring this project to life. The garden will become more wheelchair accessible by removing uneven paving and creating smooth pathways and ramps. Raised vegetable beds will be placed near the front of the garden, which will encourage people of all abilities to grow fruit and vegetables. Volunteers are currently clearing an area that can be used for outdoor learning by local schools and nurseries and there are plans for a woodland walk for children to explore. Brighter Baillieston will install a pergola that will cover a seating area for social use.
By scattering wildflower seeds and planting bee and butterfly-friendly plants the volunteers are encouraging a lively ecosystem to flourish. A new visitor to the garden has already been spotted - a wee robin joins the volunteers each week. Community Payback has donated bird boxes and a bird table. These will be installed alongside a winter shelter for insects and butterflies.
The ambition of the project is to create “a wee haven that will allow people to enjoy a tranquil space away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life,” Barbara says, particularly as underused green spaces are increasingly converted for housing purposes. The process of transforming the garden has already yielded positive results. Barbara advocates gardening as an activity for both mental and physical health. Not only is gardening a stress reliever but it’s also known as the “green gym”! So if you have an hour or two free on Wednesday or Saturday mornings make sure to try your hand and keep an eye out for their progress.