Cornwall might have the Eden Project, but London has The Temperate House, it’s the largest Victorian glasshouse and it’s just reopened at Kew Gardens.
Twice the size of the Palm House, the Grade I listed building is home to plants from Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific Islands including some of the rarest and most threatened plants.
Building first began in 1860 and it opened to the public in 1863 and now with a new importance placed on climate change, biodiversity loss and food scarcity, the greenhouse has been modernised. It was a lengthy construction project with 15,000 panes of glass replaced; 116 urns were restored; enough paint to cover four football pitches (5,280 litres) was used and a tent structure large enough to cover three Boeing 747s was used to enclose the building. But it’s all been worth it as The Temperate House is now reopen and can continue to ensure conservation and highlight out botanic heritage.
Images: © Jeff Eden/RBG Kew