Welcome to the Blooming Good Garden of Readin’

A brightly painted wall in a garden with mulch in front of the wallIn the east end of Glasgow, an area called Easterhouse, is Library @ The Bridge, a community-based library with staff and volunteers passionate about getting more people into reading.

Over the last few months TCV (the Conservation Volunteers) has worked with local groups to create the Blooming Good Garden of Readin’ and on Saturday 29 July 2018, at the Bridge Family Festival, was the big reveal. Despite the dreich weather!

TCV & Seven Lochs Wetland Park have been working on the garden space in front of the library at Easterhouse since April.

The unusually hot weather proved to be an issue, as the wildflowers needed to be replanted. Despite this, the site has been transformed from a disused, ugly space which was filled with litter and weeds to a garden everyone can enjoy.

Gavin Robinson, Glasgow Life assistant at Library @ The Bridge in Easterhouse said, “It’s a great project that’s really made the community look like a much nicer place. It makes the library look better and hopefully it’ll attract more people to the area.”

In the past few months, a walkway has been laid using wood chips, and more than 1,000 native biennial and perennial wildflower plugs have been planted. You can see their progress in photos on the project’s profile page.

The most recent work has been a mural painted by Alice Dansey-Wright along the wall at the side of the garden.

A woman in a white sunhat sitting painting a large white wall with a colourful muralAlice is a local artist who regularly paints murals and public art projects with the themes of accessibility and collaboration. Her mural is bright and vibrant and includes designs of the wildflowers planted at in the garden.

Her design was aided by students of Glasgow Kelvin College who attended workshops with Alice to produce botanical drawings for the design of the mural.

On the day, Seven Lochs encouraged children to paint using stamps of insects and animals. They had hoped to do this in the garden, but with a massive downpour everything moved indoors. Spirits weren’t dampened though!

Three young children painting at a tableClaire Quinn from Seven Lochs said, “The Blooming Good Garden of Readin’ will be a great place for local people and users of The Bridge to sit out and watch the world go by.

“This previously unloved space had no colour and few native plants. Even with the drought conditions this Summer, it has been great to see pollinating insects visiting the wildflowers that volunteers have helped plant.

“Our colourful mural painted by artist Alice Dansey-Wright has received lots of positive attention from locals and has got people excited to see what is still to come.”

There are loads of plans for what will happen next, as Sandra Scott, Community Services Supervisor at the Library explains: “We’ll have class visits and nursery groups, if the weather is nice and there is a space there is for them to sit outside we’d encourage the schools to do that.”

The location of the library, which faces Wardie Road, is already attention-grabbing. It is hoped the garden will attract new members of the local community to the library and the Platform building.

The work that has been carried out by TCV and Seven Lochs has already transformed the space and it’ll be magical to see the garden mature over the years.

So come on down, borrow a book and pull up a pew in the Blooming Good Garden of Readin’!

Blue, white and yellow flowers

*dreich = a Scottish word meaning bleak or dreary, generally used to describe the weather

Photos: Briony Cullin

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