garden photography: inside the glasshouse

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.


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.


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.

74 Comments Add yours

  1. BunKaryudo says:

    I’ve no idea what you call it, but I like the red, fluffy flower. It reminds me of the brush we used to use to clean our sons’ milk bottles when they were babies.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Bottlebrush IS the common name – callistemon the botanical one. From Australia and an absolutely delightful species! I love them all 🙂

      1. BunKaryudo says:

        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.

  2. 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.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Another day hopefully 🙂

  3. Tish Farrell says:

    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.

    1. Heyjude says:

      That does sound rather surreal.

  4. Hello Jude, it really is nice to have a glasshouse to retreat into at this time of year! I’m glad you snapped the Protea; they are spectacular. Just wish they weren’t so difficult to grow…

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you for your visit. So do you have a glasshouse?

      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..

        1. Heyjude says:

          Sounds lovely 🙂

  5. Lucid Gypsy says:

    A warm, dry place in Wales, I think I’d be very happy there. Gorgeous photos Jude, you know how I love exotica and you have some interesting purple mysteries!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Hoping Pauline will know what some of them are!

  6. Beautywhizz says:

    Beautiful flowers and excellent photos.

  7. restlessjo says:

    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?

    1. Heyjude says:

      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.

      1. restlessjo says:

        Good lass! 🙂 Doubt I’ll be down that way but I’m happy to follow you around online if you go back 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          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.

        2. restlessjo says:

          Brain ticking over. James has been spending a bit of time in Birmingham, at Uni and Head Office. Not so easy to tie in though 😦

  8. What a marvellous place to visit on a cold winter’s day! I’m happy to see the Protea there. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      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 🙂

  9. Sue says:

    Lovely, Jude…quite the thing to get my mind off the cold weather we are due….

    1. Heyjude says:

      Nice and warm in there. A trip to Kew due Sue 😉

  10. I love that building!! My parents went there a while ago and I really loved the design. Great to see those bright images from inside 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a very unusual design. Looks amazing from outside and in.

      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 😉

  11. berryabundantlyblessed says:

    Absolutely beautiful!!! The colors are so vibrant! Most of these are flowers I have never seen before!

    1. Heyjude says:

      They do have some unusual ones in there. Thanks for popping in and leaving a comment 🙂

  12. pommepal says:

    Now that is a majestic glasshouse Jude. I imagine it would be a lovely warm place to wander through in your chilly winter days. I notice Aboriginal art work there too. I’m scraping the barrel for winter over here but here is Canberra from 2 years ago.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a very unusual building and really suits the location. Beautiful planting too! Thanks for your link 🙂

      1. pommepal says:

        You’re welcome…

  13. pommepal says:

    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.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I hoped you’d be able to ID some of them for me! Thank you PP 🙂

  14. I do like an exotic glasshouse on a cold winter day! 🙂 I’ve gone for more snow this time around, but I think that’s the end of my snowy garden shots.

    1. Heyjude says:

      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 🙂

      1. True, a humid glasshouse on a 40C day during the Australian summer would not be fun!

  15. Sue Slaght says:

    So pretty Jude. A blast of color in our very white world. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Some areas of the country have had a blast of the white stuff here, but not us. We are still grey. And wet. And cold now… a visit to a hothouse is more than welcome!

  16. I really enjoy gardens with plantings from other countries. What a gorgeous place to visit.

    1. Heyjude says:

      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!

  17. Tish Farrell says:

    Here’s my winter garden offering. It’s Jo’s fault 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Jo is to blame for a LOT of things… 😉

        1. Heyjude says:

          Did you say something Jo? 😀

        1. Heyjude says:

          I see… 😀
          BTW We exchanged contracts today, so Cornwall here I come…. Whoopee!!

        2. restlessjo says:

          Fabulous! Accept a celebratory snowku! 🙂 I was going to ask but hardly dared. That’s brilliant!

        3. Heyjude says:

          Ah, so a snowku is a sort of snowball? Champagne and eggnog? Mmm…

        4. restlessjo says:

          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. 🙂

        5. Heyjude says:

          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.

        6. restlessjo says:

          Murray doesn’t need my support- until he meets Novak 🙂

        7. Heyjude says:

          Ah, yes, his Achilles heel.

        8. restlessjo says:

          As an afterthought, can I book my tour of the lost Gardens of Heligan now? 🙂 🙂

        9. Heyjude says:

          Yes! Sad thing is that we get to be even further away from one another 😦

        10. restlessjo says:

          There must be a flight option to Exeter. No idea how far beyond that. But you’ll be nearer to Gilly. And (re. the email) I’m desperate to see Scilly 😦 😦

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