This house has the most varied collection of diverse plants in a small space compared to other parts of the Gardens. The hot humid atmosphere most nearly simulates the conditions of the lowland equatorial regions of the tropics and the species grown represent the great variation of life forms which are characteristic of these habitats; trees, climbers, epiphytes, ferns, shade loving herbs and water plants.
The Subtropical (Palm) House is the largest of our glasshouses, rising to 8m at the peak - a height sufficient to accommodate sizeable trees including palms, tree ferns, a Norfolk Island pine and a giant bird-of-paradise plant. This house is kept at lower temperatures and humidity than the Tropical House. With a minimum winter temperature of 10°C, it more nearly represents climates of subtropical regions.
This house preserves something of the atmosphere of a Victorian conservatory or Orangery. This early type of glasshouse was a popular feature of the houses of prosperous families in the last century. The central beds are planted with a wide range of citrus varieties.
A glasshouse for plants from climates with low, irregular rainfall but also for plants of dry locations such as cliffs or tree branches. This house is allowed to follow ambient temperatures except for low-level heating in times of frost. Water is given about three times weekly in summer, reducing to zero between October and March.