Places to Visit in Scotland
- Glasgow's "Winter Gardens"
The people of Glasgow have a liking for the iron and glass Victorian "Winter Gardens" which grace a number of the parks in the city. At various times over the years, they may have been neglected due to budget restraints but during the last few years, thanks to grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other sources, they have been totally refurbished.
Winter Garden, People's Palace, Glasgow Green
On the edge of Glasgow Green, the oldest public park in the city, there is a museum and cultural centre called the "People's Palace" which opened in 1898. It is dedicated to the ordinary working people of Glasgow and has exhibits showing what life was like for Glaswegians in the past. The emphasis is on the city's history, culture and achievements. At the rear of the building is a huge Winter Gardens, full of ferns and tropical plants. You can have a cup of coffee while admiring the lush vegetation - and the elegant tracery of the ironwork. And across the road is the Templeton Carpet Factory> - designed to look like the Doge's Palace in Venice!
Kibble Palace, Kelvingrove Botanic Gardens
In the late 19th century Glasgow was booming as a result of the Industrial Revolution and John Kibble was a wealthy merchant. He built a botanical glasshouse for his mansion beside Loch Long but subsequently donated it to the City of Glasgow. It was dismantled and moved to the Botanic Gardens at his own expense in 1873. It now contains a fine collection of exotic tree ferns, which was started in 1881. In January 1999, a giant Spear Lily (Doryanthes palmeri to the botanists) flowered for the first time in forty years in the glass house. The building also houses a collection of sculptures and nearby building in the park house a fine collection of orchids.
Winter Gardens, Tollcross Park
After lying derelict for over ten years, the refurbishment of the Winter Gardens at Tollcross Park in the city was completed in November 2000 at a cost of 1.7 million pounds. The building is considerably smaller than the ones at Glasgow Green and Kelvingrove but they have packed in a large collection of flowering orchids, cacti, poinsettia and other colourful plants.
The glass houses high in the centre of Queen's Park on the south side of Glasgow, kept their moisture content high by having an artificial stream running through, with goldfish to add to the interest. These are currently being refurbished; perhaps we will see the return of the parrots which used to screech at the visitors?
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