It is no secret I love knitting, even though I am an exceptionally lazy knitter (I have trailed the scarf that won't knit itself around many coffee houses in Glasgow - through the city centre, the west end, the northern suburbs...) and even into one of my favouritist-ist places ever, the botanic gardens in Glasgow. The botanic gardens are not huge, they do not hold many major national collections (as far as I know - maybe they do), but what they lack in terms of international reputation they make up for in terms of serenity and welcome and the sense of just being a lovely relaxed place that really belongs to the locals and is a rather super place to be. I suspect one of the reasons I love them (and love them I really do) are the little pockets of quirkyness or charm dotted about - the rose garden is mainly narrow paths of tangled shrub roses, there is a potager (oh heaven on earth to my eyes - colour, vegetables, colourful vegetables, and the chaos of plants in the formal design of box beds), a herb garden (what isn't to love about herbs - I've had a herb garden of some shambolic sort since I was about 8, I adore herbs - their history, their uses, their subtle green charms, their liking for poor soil and neglect...). The peoples garden - a fabulous and exuberant tangle of flowers and ideas, and of course the greenhouses - the main greenhouses and the Kibble Palace - a wedding cake like confection of white wrought iron and curved glass. There is ALWAYS something going on - no matter how crap the weather or the season.
There are some real gems in there - you just never know what is all kicking off in terms of plant stuff... isnt that slight twinge of purple and acid green at the edges of the cactus flower sublime, sighhhhhh.
Anyway, as I was saying before I got over excited about the gardens, is that there is a lot of people-y-ness to the gardens. Sure it is a dear green place (didya see what I did there? "Glasgow" actually means "dear green place") but it is the feeling of being the living space of local people that really appeals. A case in point is this yarn-bombed bench. It just appeared...
However last weekend when I was pottering through the gardens, there was a woman knitting. Naturally, knitters stop to chat - kind of like dogs like to sniff each other - knitters often like to yarn-stroke or at least "ooooooooh" it is a form of knitter-etiquette that must be observed, knitters are lovely like that. It transpired this woman is the yarn-bomber, I was actually so excited I never even asked her name - but this is as celebrity-excited as I get. So the story of the yarn-bombed bench is as follows - all the other benches along this path have plaques remembering people except this one, and as this woman sat down on it one day she thought about her late mum and how much she liked the gardens and then how much she liked knitting. So she approached the botanic gardens and asked to cover it in memory of her mum as a temporary thing, they agreed and she and her pals snuck in one evening and covered it, over time it has acquired the odd little crochet bird and it is only meant to be there a little while longer. Knit-lady was actually surprised that no one has trashed it. It is phenomenally cool huh? Kudos to the lady and the memory of her late mum and serious respect also to the Glasgow botanic gardens to be chill with a little bit of personality appearing.