Glasgow West End: Jim's West End Photo Diary December 1999

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Thursday 18th November. Went into the visitor centre at the Botanic Gardens which had an exhibition about the Botanist, Horticulturalist and traveller David Douglas - who, it turns out was a bit of an interesting character. Many of the trees and plants in the Gardens where collected by David Douglas during his travels across North America and other 'far off' places. Unfortunately his life was ended in mysterious circumstances when he was found at the bottom of a pit which had been set as a trap for animals of the four legged kind. I'll have to find out more about him.

Mrs Helen Abdy

Here is a photograph of Mrs Helen Abdy who was 'manning the fort' so to speak when I was in the Visitor Centre. She was very friendly and told me lots of interesting stories about the Gardens, the Kibble Palace and the surounding area. One of the stories was about the Bell brothers ( of ceramic fame) who originally owned what is now the BBC Scotland building on Queen Margaret Drive. Apparently they were known to be not too keen on Women - which is ironic because the buidling became the first Ladies College in Scotland after they died.

Mrs Abdy is the chairperson of the Friends of Glasgow's Botanic Gardens - a group started in 1990 to promote interest in and support for the gardens. I took her picture while I was in and she said she wouldn't mind if I posted it on the site. That's some of the presentation boards from the David Douglas exhibition that you can see in the background of the photograph.

If you would like to become a member of the Friends of Glasgow Botanic Gardens phone 0141 334 2422 to find out more. Here is a quote from their leaflet:

"By joining the 'Friends' you will be helping to raise public awareness of the Botanic Gardens and promoting the development of horticultural and botanical research, conservation and eduction. In return you will be invited to participate in many social and community events held within the Gardens each year. These include summer concerts, garden visits throughout Scotland, art and educational exhibitions and seasonal events."

Strangely I didn't take a picture of the Visitor Centre - the Visitor Centre was originally the Curators House built in 1840 by Charles Wilson.

Kibble Palace

Here is a picture of the Kibble Palace I took when I came out of the Visitors Centre. This could have been a great picture I really like the colours, but I think I had the wrong film in the camera - the dark bits are too dark and the bright bits are too bright. Anyway you live and learn - maybe I should read a book about photography and find out how I can take better pictures.

Main Range Glasshouse at Botanic Gardens

Still in the Botanic Gardens and here is the Main Range of Glasshouses which showcase plants from a range of tropical environments including the banana trees which actually had some bananas on them when I passed by on my walk round. There is also a range of cactus from around the world including those big ones you see in the cowboy movies.

Glasgow's first Botanic Gardens was the Physic garden which was located on the high street and belonged to Glasgow University. The Botanic Garden Society was founded in 1815 but the gardens did not arrive at their current location untill 1838 having been located for a short time on a small plot near Charing Cross. ( From Central Glasgow, An Illustrated Architectural Guide by Charles McKean, David Walker and Frank A Walker)

Kibble Palace

Here's a picture of the Kibble Palace looking down from top of hill where the main range of glasshouses are.

I took some photo's a few weeks back while out and about - which I didn't get around to posting onto the site - so here they are. The first one is of a tenement entrances on Vinicome St which has an unusual array of arches above the windows and door.

Vinicome Street

And here's a photo of one of terraces on Westbourne Gardens taken on a particularly bright day while taking a walk around Hyndland hyways and byways with Pat.

Westbourne Gardens

I have a selection of my photographs for sale in the Gallery Shop.


Hi Pat

Your photos are wonderful, especially those of the Botanic Gdn and Byres Rd. It brings back memories of those days when I walked from Glasgow U to Byres Rd's Safeway and back to the Murano St Student accomodation. That was in the yrs 1994-96 when I was an undergrad at the university.
Thanks and best regards.
--PY Teo ( pyteo at mbox3 dot singnet dot com dot sg ) from Singapore on 20.7.2002; 16:59:21 Uhr