Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Save Our Allotments

The Oatlands Leisure Gardens have been in their current site, Elmfoot Street in the Gorbals Glasgow, since the late 1980s. Funding was received from the EU and Land and Environmental Services set up two school plots with disabled access, raised beds and a polytunnel. These two plots were allocated to Richmond Park Primary in the Oatlands area.

The gardens have been very successful and have been enjoyed by local residents for many years. However, more recently an agreement was made between Glasgow City Council Department of Regeneration Services and Gladedale Property Developers for a 99 year lease on the land for regeneration. As part of the agreement, the allotments were to be moved to a smaller site adjoining Richmond Park School reducing the number of plots from 20 to 14. This could result in the eviction of several individual plot holders and community group plots rented by Blackfriars Primary, the Simon Community, Oatlands Residents Association, the Transition Group and the Carr-Gorm Group. This is at a time when waiting lists for plots in Glasgow can range from 2 to 8 years.

Last February, the allotment site suffered major damage due to the storms and heavy rain which fell. However, everyone rallied round and carried out repairs on the greenhouses and everything was back on track by the Spring. Unfortunately, at this time a spate of vandalism started and huts were being burned on a weekly basis. On Sunday 8th June the metal storage area for tools and the clubhouse were razed to the ground. By this time, the fire brigade had been called out on five separate occasions and it was obvious that the vandalism was not being carried out by kids. Before the fire, boltcutters had been used to cut the fencing and large industrial tools such as a rotovator and a chainsaw had been stolen. This would have required transport for these tools to be removed. The fire had taken hold very quickly so that the fire brigade were too late to save the clubhouse and it was likely that petrol had been used.

By July, there was not a pain of glass left in any of the greenhouses, five sheds have been razed to the ground, the storage area and clubhouse burnt out, everyone had lost their tools and the polytunnel was ripped apart.

In August the allotment secretary attended the Glasgow Allotment Forum meeting and asked for their help in tackling the problems at Oatlands. GAF agreed to help and a meeting was arranged with Ron Smith, Department of Regeneration Services, Robert Watson and Andy Worrall, Environmental and Land Services, Baillie James Scanlon, Baillie Jahangir Hanif, Councillor Danny Alderslowe, Judy Wilkinson, Secretary of GAF and Ian Baird, Gladedale along with representatives of Oatlands. Unfortunately, Ian Baird did not attend. A further meeting was held at Oatlands which Ian Baird did attend. Future meetings were held on 10 December in Councillor Alderslowe’s office and on 16 December with Steve Inch, the Executive Director of the Department of Regeneration.

As a result of these meetings it was agreed that CCTV would be provided for Oatlands and monitored by Glasgow Council and a new fence would be erected by Gladedale/Land Services and reimbursed to Gladedale on the move to the new site. However after the recent removal of the CCTV, without the plotholders being consulted, there has been more fires, more vandalism and threats to plotholders

The move to the new site has been delayed due to the downturn in the housing market and no definite date has been set, but the gardens remain under threat of vandalism and eviction. The new site should be in addition to the original site to meet the local demand and reduce waiting lists.

Updates on the gardens will be posted on our website:

Monday, 27 April 2009

Flower Advice

Sorry I was not able to talk to you about flowers this weekend. It is difficult to suggest anything without seeing your plot, but selecting flowers from an easily available Dr D.G. Hessayon's "Flower Expert" book would be a good place to start. Try planting some herbaceous perennials (their foliage dies back in the autumn and grows back in the spring). Plant in a circle, in odd numbers so that they look more natural and less square, with the tallest plants in the middle. Try matching and contrasting the colours and have at least one species in flower throughout the growing season. Roukenglen Garden Centre should have a wider selection than Homebase, B&Q or the supermarkets. Anything else could be found in the classified ads at the back of gardening magazines like Gardeners' World. They usually have special offers for matching plants.
If you just want to grow annuals sow a wild flower mix on a depleted soil.
Let me know if any of this is of any use or if I am teaching my granny to suck eggs again.


Robert also built a frame for carrots yesterday. It is about 18" high and we will cover it will fleece (out the pound shop) and net curtains (Ikea) to keep the carrot fly away. This has been very successful over the last two years. We stored our carrots in boxes of sand over the winter and only ran out in February so would recommend that too.
Carrot seeds not in yet but in the next week or so. I think we have plenty of time.

Allotment clean-up

Find more videos like this on The Green House

Thursday, 23 April 2009


Hoping to get our potatoes planted this weekend. We are quite late this year and didn't buy any until Easter but if the weather is good on Saturday we can catch up.

Last year's onions

This year I am looking for an even better show :-)


Planning to plant some flowers this weekend but I don't have any experience of flowers. I want a lot of colour for the summer so advice would be appreciated. I have sunflowers ready to go in but that's about it

Help Offered

If any new members want help with digging etc or advice on gardening email me -

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Well, our onions have gone in. We have decided to try and grow them through black membrane to reduce the weeds this year. We have stapled the membrane to a wooden frame (about 6" high) so that it will not blow away in the wind. So, now we will have to wait and see how we get on.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Oatlands Leisure Gardens

Elmfoot Street