Thursday, 14 July 2011

LEGUP and Grow Govan

We were chased back to our home pretty quick on Tuesday as the skies were threatening to rain, but as we drove through Govan, Glasgow a sign caught my attention. 
We had driven  past this place a number of times and it always got my attention, as it looked like an allotment site, but the gates were always closed.  I became even more curious, when I saw a small vegetable bed had been dug up on the outside with canes... So the gates open and a welcoming sign for visitors, I coudln't resist.  I got D to park the car (not that easy, but we eventually found a parking spot) and then we stepped into this little green space hidden in Govan. 

Govan was once known for being the centre of shipbuilding on the Clyde and this hidden green space is not that far from the Fairfields Shipyards
The initiative is called LEG UP.  LEGUP is an acronym for Linthouse, Elderpark, Govan Urban Planters.  LEGUP have transformed a disused courtyard into a Community Gardeners Space.  I wish I had known about this place when I lost my allotment plot, as I would have enjoyed volunteering there, but sadly that is not to be the case as our move down south is inevitable.

The volunteers there were very welcoming, Guy and Moira.  They offered us cups of tea, gave us a little background to the set up of the initiative, showed us around - all in all they were extremely welcoming.    
Its still a work in progress, but here are some photographs.  The garden has made the most of recycled materials, such as tyres, wooden pallets, plastic bottles, etc.  Here the tyres have Jerusalem artichokes growing.  These are about the same size as mine at home growing in a large pot.
Some purple kale - the leaves on these were magnificent.  I would have loved to have known what variety they were as not one of these leaves were nabbed by the white cabbage butterfly, unlike mine last year that resembled lacework and worthy only for the compost bin.
Guy one of the volunteers there said we were welcome to take some vegetables if we wanted.  I couldn't resist the kind offer and said I would love to take some purple kale.  As I was leaving they also gave me a kale plant.  They were extremely generous.
It is most impressive how the project has made the most of nothing namely from recycled materials and the goodwill of volunteers.  There was a pyramid 'wigwam' built from recycled wood and branches; as well as plastic blue bins that were cut out with many holes and then filled with strawberry plants.  I'm sorry I don't have a photograph of either of these.
 These are wooden pallets that are covered in plastic and then built to make cold frames.
This is the inside of the greenhouse made with recycled plastic bottles.  It is due to be unveiled at the weekend, but one of the volunteers was kind enough to let us see it from the inside.
If you wish to read or learn more about the LEG UP project, follow this link.
I wish the people behind and working for the LEGUP project every success in the future. 


  1. Wow - that looks fantastic. It's amazing what you can find randomly int he city isn't it?

  2. I have seen tyres used...but never as extensively and interestingly as that. Thanks for the tour.

  3. Brilliant idea!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great weekend.

    Sandie xx
    P.S, how far South are you moving?

  4. Well that was just wonderful, seeing how creative this group is! The bottles used to make the greenhouse..who would have thought! The idea for the pallet cold frame..very clever. You had a very inspiring day Shaheen.

  5. Thanks Louise.
    We drove through Govan yesterday too (on our way to the Riverside), and saw some more interesting sights in Govan too which I will share later in the week
    Your right though it's amazing what you can find randomly in the city.

    Thanks HAZEL.
    I am glad you enjoyed the tour, just a shame we didn't take as many pictures. Re the recycling of tyres - its fab isn't it. Just as a point of interest, once upon a time I used to work in the environment and heritage sector and went to a place in Fife a good few years ago and they have an entire building made from recyled tyres, aliminium cans and other waste materials - its aptyly known as 'Earthship Fife'. See here

    Thanks Sandie.
    I'll be moving to Wales.

  6. Thank you Gardeningbren.
    I so agree with your comment. I've seen greenhouses made from recycled bottles before but always froma distance, so it was refreshing to get up close and personal.
    It certainly was a very inspiring day for me.

  7. What a Wonderful idea! Never having lived in a city, I'm used to always seeing things growing...especially since I've always lived in New Jersey, known as the Garden State. Summer is the best here...everywhere you turn, you see life growing. This was a great post, Shasheen!

  8. Thanks Fran.
    I've watched the movie 'Garden State' based in NJ, so the reference of things always growing made me smile.

  9. So lovely place!

  10. I love the little signs - probably not the most important part of the garden, but beautiful, inspiring, and reuseful none the less!

  11. Thanks Lela.

    Thans Kristy,
    Its small touches like the signs that brighten some places, so i do think they are important as make it welcoming too.

  12. Looks like a very special place!! Inspiring, to say the least.

  13. Thanks Nicole.
    I think it is and has so much potential.

  14. What an interesting scheme! And how nice that the staff were so welcoming. That must make a whole world of difference. I would like to be involved in something like that myself one day.

  15. Thanks Mark.
    I don't know how much support they get from the local council - very little I think as this project was set up from scratch and good will of est. charities in the area.

    I'd have to get either the underground, bus or drive there as its not that close to me, but regardless I really wish I had known about it much earlier as I know I would have def. been involved in it, even if it was just the weekends. Its a shame really finding out about it now and I'll be moving. I hope there is something like this for me to become involved in in the near future and i hope so for you too.

  16. What a fantastic place !!

  17. That place looks great. I love the tyres painted up. It reminds me of a place in Melbourne called Ceres. We lived right by it when we first came to Australia. Its in the city, built on an old dump.

  18. We have a scheme similar to this in my home town of Derby. They call it community gardens, where you can come and volunteer, collect stamps for your labour and in return take boxes of seasonal fruit and veg away when you have collected the required amount of stamps. I have only seen it on the internet but apparrently they are growing on disused trainlines and the fields around them. Now I have moved to Derby, I'll have to give them a look in, hopefully it's still going strong!

    I absolutely love the dis-used tires to grow in, they are so cute when they're painted. Perhaps this could become fashionable and green for peoples gardens!

    Zoe xx

  19. Thanks Toru.
    I will def check out the link - thank you for sharing it.

    Thanks Zoe.
    Do you have a link to the place, I'd be interested in checking it out. Hopefully it's still going strong!

    I like the tyres too. I am going to suggest it to my father, but I think he will raise his eyebrows - he thinks some of my gardening ideas are a bit peculiar, but my mother sees the value of them and supports me, so I win :) I know my nephews will love it.


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