Category: The Glasshouses 🎧
A tour of our glasshouses
Let the glasshouses take you on a journey of discovery through the world of plants. In our ten landscaped environments you will find plants that have adapted to a variety of different growing conditions, from rainforests to deserts.
The radical design of the main range of glasshouses, opened in 1967, has been hailed as one of the most innovative in the 20th Century.
Along the walkway and in the glasshouse below it, are plants from Mediterranean climates all over the world. In this area you will find plants from the Southern Europe, Western Australia, California, South Africa and some parts of South America.
The plants on display in this house are from the same geographical region as the Montane Tropics House (South-East Asia). This wet-warm habitat has driven the huge diversity of plants which can be found in this region.
Holding collections from the mountain regions of South-East Asia (Borneo to Indonesia and the island of New Guinea) this house showcases one of the long term research groups – the Vireya Rhododendrons.
This house displays some of the adaptations plants have made to the prolonged droughts and extreme temperatures of the desert regions across the world.
As you walk in to this house you are greeted by the heat and humidity of a South American rainforest, one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.
Whilst the tropical plants in this house may be unfamiliar, the products produced from them are part of your daily life.
Get transported back through time to when dinosaurs ruled the earth. The ferns, horsetails, mosses, liverworts and conifers on display in this house are among the most ancient groups of plants having been around for over 350 million years.
Here you will find plants from the opposite ends of the evolutionary scale. At the one end we have the primitive cycads, whilst at the other are orchids, some of the most sophisticated groups of plants.
This is the oldest of the glasshouses, built in 1834, at the time it was largest of its kind in Britain.
The temperate palm house was built in 1858 by Robert Matheson with a grant of £6,000 from Parliament. At 21.95m (72ft) tall this is the tallest glasshouse in the UK, and is one of the tallest classic palm houses in the world.