It's green as far as the eye can see: a lawn rises off at the sides into fecund raised beds filled with plants, towards the back the grass becomes thick bushes and tall trees.

You might have your doubts at the truth of it but we are on a factory floor.

The Hidden Gardens sit behind Tramway, on Glasgow's south side and form a deliberately inclusive and always accessible green space for education, art and social activity.

But while Tramway's galleries are obviously industrial - the tram lines still run through the venue - the gardens are not just "hidden" in that they are at the back of the venue.

They also hide the fact that they cover the floor of the old Coplawhill Tram Works and Depot.

The soil producing all this lush greenery is only 12 inches thick and the trees are thriving only because they have been planted in former void spaces where engineers would have clambered under trams to carry out repairs.

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"It's such a clever design," says Amanda Patterson, chief executive of The Hidden Gardens Trust.

Mrs Patterson is reflecting on the 20th anniversary of the greenspace and the slew of celebrations that have been held to mark a successful two decades serving Pollokshields and Govanhill, as well as Glasgow communities beyond.

She added: "The story of the gardens isn't visible - we don't have signs or exhibits - but through dialogue people discover its stories.

"The garden is very much about creating the opportunity for dialogue and making connections between people and between people and nature.

"We do that through art and horticulture but all of these are the means to another end, which is strengthening the notion of wellbeing and community and letting people feel visible and heard and valued."

The Herald:

Pollokshields and Govanhill are the most diverse communities in Scotland and the heart of The Hidden Gardens has always been about celebrating diversity and bringing people together.

These were forward-thinking concepts 20 years ago when the art collective NVA was commissioned to develop an art project at Tramway.

Led by Angus Farquhar, who was then the director of NVA, the group fundraised for a consultant to work in the community talking to people about what they needed and "what their notion of paradise was."

The answer, in a densely populated area with a high number of tenement flats, was greenspace - and particularly greenspace that felt safe.

To this end, The Hidden Gardens was designed and created. It is smoke and alcohol-free, dog-free and always staffed, to support with the safety ethos.

Permanent artworks were commissioned for the gardens, some of which are still in situ though others have been removed.

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One of Mrs Patterson's favourite parts of the garden is the carefully chosen plant choices - some of which remind her of her childhood in Ireland.

She also points to how even the trees are planted as a comment on diversity. She added: "There is a native/exotic plant collection that is distinctive to The Hidden Gardens; so there's a Scots pine planted beside a pine from Pakistan.

"Lots of people know what a pine looks like but when you start to look with different eyes you notice the spines are longer on that one, the pines are more knobbly on that one.

"One of the things I've learned that I love is that Scots pine turns ginger on the top when they are in the wild - how fitting.

"It's phenomenal, the garden, and the depth of thought behind its creation."

The garden also hosts Scotland's first sanctuary gardens dedicated to peace, which were developed at the cusp of the Iraq war.

Initial events, before the Trust was created in 2005, were big and glitzy and aimed at getting The Hidden Gardens on the map but now the focus is very much on community, social justice and climate change.

There are also small touches such as biodegradable tree tags that people can write their prayers and wishes on.

Once they disintegrate these meld back into the soil. Mrs Patterson added: "It means people's wishes and thoughts and prayers stay here forever, which I love."

The cost of living crisis has affected The Hidden Gardens, as it has across the charity sector, and funding was recently lost for two projects, meaning staff losses also.

Fundraising is now ongoing to try to restart those projects ahead of the next growing season.

The Trust is in the midst of developing a five year plan to try to mitigate some of the economic pressures that look set to remain over the next few years.

But the future, they believe, is very bright.

Mrs Patterson added: "Our focus is on not changing our vision of why we're here or our mission but thinking about what is sustainable as a programme for community engagement.

"When we're open there's a member of staff here to make it welcoming and safe for all who come so what are sustainable opening hours for us because we're staffing it.

"We're not as able to offer as many hours as we would like or as many as the community would need, tragically.

"But we will keep working for The Hidden Gardens - people fall in love here, children learn to walk here.

"It's vital to the community."

As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations The Hidden Gardens is hosting the Sonica Surge Festival, a day of free gigs, on Saturday.

Tuba and euphonium duo Dopey Monkey, Dundee’s Be Charlotte and the Glasgow African Balafon Orchestra will all be playing.