8 inspirational greenhouses to visit in the UK
From vast Victorian glasshouses to countryside conservatories, these stunning greenhouses are blooming with inspiration for any houseplant owner
There's nothing like strolling around a beautiful botanical garden. But when the British weather strikes, how do we get our plant fix? Thankfully, the Victorians had the answer – glasshouses.
During the 19th century, the Victorians took the idea of the humble greenhouse and transformed it into awe-inspiring indoor attractions. These vast glasshouses displayed exotic plants from around the world, inspiring generations of gardeners.
To spark some ideas for your own houseplant oasis, we've curated a list of eight inspirational greenhouses to visit in the UK.
Kew Gardens – London, England
The iconic Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew is home to glasshouses galore. Chief among these is Temperate House – the world's biggest Victorian glasshouse. Opened in 1862, there are now 10,000 plants living underneath its glass arches.
Kew's other glasshouses each symbolise a different ecosystem, from tropical vibes in the Palm House to cacti and succulents in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
Find out more here.
Eden Project – Cornwall, England
This former barren quarry in Cornwall has been turned into a plant lovers’ paradise. The Eden Project is home to two massive dome-shaped glasshouses – the Rainforest Biome and the Mediterranean Biome.
The Rainforest Biome is the largest indoor rainforest on Earth, and you can recreate this tropical paradise at home with indoor plants like Big Ken, our Kentia palm, and Robin, our Ficus rubber plant.
Explore the Eden Project here.
The Winter Garden – Sheffield, England
To escape the city crowds, look no further than Sheffield's Winter Garden. This massive modern glasshouse is packed with over 2,500 gorgeous temperate plants, including anthuriums like Fleur and English ivy like Effy.
The Winter Garden is free to explore all year round, providing a peaceful oasis in the city centre. The space also houses cafés, galleries, and shops.
Learn more about the Winter Garden here.
Darwin's Hothouse – Down House, England
This modest mansion in Kent wasn't just home to Charles Darwin, but also to the collection of plants that helped him craft his theory of evolution. Many of the species that Darwin studied are still grown in his charming little hothouse, including climbing plants and orchids.
Fancy recreating Darwin's specimens in your conservatory? Pick some trailing plants such as Rapunzel, our Devil's Ivy.
Get more information about Down House here.
The Glasshouse – RHS Garden Wisley, England
Opened in 2007, this cleverly-designed glasshouse in Surrey spans an area the size of ten full-size tennis courts. As the ceiling towers 40 feet above you, take a tour through three zones dedicated to unique plant environments.
Bask beneath monsteras and palm trees in the balmy tropical section before journeying through the humid and arid temperate zones.
Head here for more information.
Great Glasshouse – National Botanical Garden, Wales
Spanning 3,500 square metres, the Great Glasshouse is the world's largest single-span glasshouse. Opened in 2000, this jaw-dropping dome is home to a huge collection of Mediterranean plants, headlined by some dramatic dragon trees.
But you don't have to travel to Wales to capture some Mediterranean magic. Mick, our Dracaena fragrans, is a house-trained version of the Great Glasshouse's famous residents.
Learn more about the Great Glasshouse here.
Victorian Fernery – Ascog Hall Gardens, Scotland
While it may not have the grandeur of other glasshouses, the Victorian Fernery at Ascog Hall has a more intimate atmosphere. Fern fanatics can spend hours appreciating some fabulous fronds in this partially-underground glasshouse, including an ancient King Fern that has lived for 1,000 years.
Fancy starting your own fernery? Bertie, our beautiful Boston fern, is a perfect choice.
Explore Ascog Hall Gardens here.
Palm House Conservatory – Botanic Gardens, Belfast
One of Northern Ireland’s oldest botanical attractions, this grand curved glasshouse brings a taste of the tropics to Belfast. The Palm House Conservatory houses a mix of cool temperature plants and tropical favourites like birds of paradise.
The site is completely free to visit, but if Belfast is a bit too far away, don't worry. Add Reggie, our bird of paradise, to your houseplant collection instead.
Find out more here.
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