All-year-round holiday memories
A gem for gardeners to visit in the Midlands is Birmingham Botanical Gardens (you’ll find my post on the early autumn borders here and on the tropical house here).
The extensive glasshouses were my favourites and I decided to cover each one individually – perfect inspiration.
The Mediterranean House was built in 1884 and has retained its Victorian conservatory or orangery style, typical of early glasshouses popular with prosperous families in the 19th Century.
Educating on the benefits of plants
There’s an emphasis on education and pointing out the importance of plants from each region to us.
The central beds are planted with citrus varieties including lemon, orange, lime, satsuma and the citron with fruits the size of a rugby ball.
This house also contains shrubs including a dwarf pomegranate (Punica granatum var nana), carob-bean (Ceratonia siliqua) whose seeds were used to weigh gold in carats.
The plants on the raised benches contain traditional glasshouse ornamentals, including many varieties of Pelargoniums (pot geraniums), and Coleus, and chrysanthemums in the autumn.
- The gardens are at Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3TR, open every day, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day, from 10am.
- From October to March: Doors close at 5pm (at dusk if earlier).
- Christmas Eve: doors close at 3pm.
- April to September: Doors close at 6pm weekdays and 7pm weekends (at dusk if earlier).
For more information and special events, visit www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk.