It was hailed as one of the platforms which helped Glasgow reinvent itself as a city of cultural significance and attracted more than four million visitors in just five months.

It transformed the grey of the city's riverside into a colourful, exciting playground populated by sights such as the 240ft-high Clydesdale Bank Anniversary Tower, the Coca Cola rollercoaster, a bonsai garden, picturesque landscaped areas and a tramway.

And it played a huge role in the transformation of the city’s derelict ship-building and industrial heartland to a changing landscape of homes, hotels, and a media hub.

Now, a new exhibition is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Glasgow Garden Festival, the first international expo to be held in Scotland's biggest city since the Empire Exhibition in 1938. reports our sister title The Herald.

READ NEXT: 'We know it's a big change': New bin hubs are being put on the streets in Glasgow

‘Glasgow’s 1988 Festival: How Did The Garden Grow?’ is being held at community space New Glasgow Society (NGS) in the Finnieston area of the city.

It forms part of the wider Architecture Fringe 2023, a volunteer-run festival of design, architecture and the built environment being held across Scotland and online. The bi-annual festival, which started back in 2016, is considered one of the most exciting, innovative and diverse festivals on the Scottish arts calendar.

The exhibition is being hosted by NGS in conjunction with The Glasgow Urban Laboratory - a partnership between Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow City Council - and After The Garden Festival (AtGF) - a project to record the design, history, and legacy of the 1988 festival.

It tells the story from the beginning; how Glasgow made a successful pitch as the third Garden Festival venue in the UK after Liverpool and Stoke-On-Trent, how the team designed the festival with various zones and themes, and how the festival was delivered. 

Glasgow Times:

The two-week-long exhibition, which began on June 3 and runs until June 18, includes content and archival materials rarely visible to the public.

The second part of the exhibition illustrates the experience of being at the 1988's Festival through a series of photo archives from the AtGF team, accompanied by rare video footage captured on cine camera by one of the founders of NGS.

The last chapter explores the ongoing research about the festival's legacy, with the AtGF team successfully locating many items from the festival - including some in Papua New Guinea and Japan - such as original Glasgow Garden Festival brochures, vehicle tags and t-shirts.

As well as browse through archival exhibits, visitors to the exhibition are also encouraged to relive their memories of the event and share their thoughts in an interactive gallery installation.

Glasgow Times: The Glasgow Garden FestivalThe Glasgow Garden Festival

The hope is that once the exhibition ends at NGS, it will then tour around Glasgow, with NGS currently liaising with various venues across the city.

A spokesperson for New Glasgow Society told our sister title The Herald: “New Glasgow Society have been delighted with the positive reactions to our current exhibition Glasgow’s 1988 Festival: How Did The Garden Grow? 

“Working in collaboration with Glasgow Urban Lab and After the Garden Festival, we have managed to encapsulate the Event which evokes so many memories 35 years later. 

READ NEXT: Charity gears up for cervical cancer awareness week in bid to raise smear uptake

“Apart from learning about the technical/design aspect and potential future developments, visitors to the exhibition have enjoyed watching original cine camera footage and sharing their own stories and experiences of the summer of 1988. 

“We also encourage visitors to take away a complimentary ‘seed bomb’ to plant, in keeping with the Garden Festival theme. Footfall to date has been great, and with several days still to run, New Glasgow Society hope to welcome many more guests into our gallery space.”

As well as the exhibition, a free talk, on Thursday, June 15, at NGS will gather community groups and speakers to discover who has been ‘growing’ Glasgow’s 'garden' in the present day.

‘From 1988 to 2023: Who is Growing Our Garden?’ will see participants, many of whom are working to bring nature back to the city,  share their visions and missions in making Glasgow greener, wilder and healthier. 

Confirmed speakers at the ‘From 1988 to 2023: Who Is Growing Our Garden?’ event include Glasgow National Park City, Glasgow GALLANT (Glasgow as a Living Lab Accelerating Novel Transformation) community, research group Food Sovereignty Network and Glasgow Science Centre.