In January I’m looking for a Winter Garden

(This month I want to see photos and stories about winter gardens. You can interpret this any way you want; a garden in winter, winter flowers, or plants in a glasshouse)

This is the Great Glasshouse at the Botanic Garden of Wales. The unusual raindrop-shaped design was the work of world-renowned architects Norman Foster and Partners and it is the largest single span glasshouse in the world.

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The plants come from six areas of the world: California, Australia, the Canary Islands, Chile, South Africa and the Mediterranean Basin and the glasshouse is used to protect and conserve some of the most endangered plants on the planet.

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One of the loveliest things about visiting a glasshouse such as this is that you feel as though you have just travelled to some exotic part of the world, or in this case, several.

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it JanuaryWinter Gardens
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in February.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.
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74 thoughts on “garden photography: inside the glasshouse

      1. Really! Wow! Now that is an amazing coincidence! I agree with you, though. Beautiful as a bottlebrush is, it is only one among many beautiful plants, as shown by your photographs.

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  1. A beautiful collage, and I like the map too – complete with benches. Just discovered there is a garden of some note in Bodalla. Only open Friday/Sat/Sun and it rained just as I was approaching it on Friday.

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  2. The magic of glasshouses in winter. You’ve reminded me Jude. When I was a student at Sheffiield Uni I remember a chance visit to one of the city parks, and stepping inside a small but tall glasshouse to escape the cold, and being instantly plunged into the subtle sweet scent of a single, ancient mimosa tree that was blooming there. There was an old man sitting motionless beneath it. It was a Through the Looking Glass sort of moment.

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      1. Yes, we are really lucky we have 5 display glasshouses – none as big as those above though! We have an original Edwardian lean-to in our Walled Garden, a Carnivorous House, an Arid House, an Alpine House, and an Orchid House which, in its original state, was actually built for the British Antarctic Survey in the 1960’s. Lots of places to hide from this weather..

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  3. Whereabouts in Wales is this, Jude? You don’t say. And when were you there? (Mick says ‘somewhere obscure’ 🙂 ). Your gallery is really beautiful. I feel quite envious, sitting here in the cold 😦 Have you got snow yet?

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    1. Mick’s right, it is in a somewhat obscure place. Easy to get to from the end of the M4, it is in Camarthenshire. The National Botanic Garden of Wales is situated 10 mins from the M4 and two minutes from the A48 in Carmarthenshire, South West Wales, midway between Cross Hands and Carmarthen. For Satnav users, our postcode is SA32 8HN

      I’ll add a link to the post! We were staying at Aberglasney Gardens so not too far away. It is a beautiful glasshouse, though not a lot else happening in the garden on our visit (April). I imagine the gardens have matured a bit now, it would be nice to go back and have a look.

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      1. I’m thinking of a visit to the Birmingham Botanical Garden they have several glasshouses, but I loathe driving in Birmingham. Train, bus option too long though.

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    1. We actually visited in April, but it was a bit chilly even then. It would be a lovely place to get rid of the winter blues – if only it was a little closer to us. I love to see proteas 🙂

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      1. Norman Foster can be brilliant! I love the wobbly millennium bridge but I hate the gherkin. I do think this is one of his best. It was designed to have minimal impact on the natural landscape as well as being very eco-friendly. I do listen to some of the things mum tells me and she was ever so excited about this glasshouse 😉

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  4. You have done well naming nearly all of the flowers Jude. The small pink one bottom left of Gerbera I think is a Geraldton Wax, the other fluffy one I don’t know but remember seeing them in WA.

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    1. They are definitely more enticing on a chilly day than in the middle of summer (well, your summer, for us there is little difference). I enjoyed seeing all the Australian and South African species.

      And you have surpassed yourself with the wintry garden 🙂

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    1. It is a new glasshouse, so I didn’t quite know what to expect, but it is rather lovely. As you can see from the map it is very open, so you wander around different areas of the world. Great for someone like me who loves to travel!

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      1. Worth a shot! Ha-ha 🙂 Sorry about that… watching War and Peace. Bit gory! Not staying up to watch Murray but Hewitt tomorrow morning should be great fun. 🙂

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      2. I love watching Hewitt – last game(s) before he finishes isn’t it? He’ll be good in the Davis Cup though. I really think you should support Murray on my behalf as I can’t watch the match.

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      1. I ask only because I live in Jo’berg and to encourage specific butterflies and bugs etc it is suggested I ensure the garden is well stocked with the plants the insects like.
        Nice post.
        We’re in the middle of Summer down here so my ”Winter Photos” will have to wait ’til July.
        😉

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    1. Well, yes, that is a good idea. Although I don’t have a garden, only a small patio, I have pots which attract the bees and butterflies and unfortunately slugs and snails! As for a winter garden photo you are allowed to dig in the archives! Or perhaps you have visited a glasshouse somewhere? Anyway, nice to see you and thanks for commenting and maybe next month’s theme will be more up your street 🙂
      Jude xx

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  5. It’s interesting that in the United States we say greenhouse because of the green things grown inside, while you say glasshouse because of the material used in the structure. The one in Wales certainly deserves to be called a glasshouse. Regardless of the name, people inside shouldn’t throw stones.

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