The Alpine House
One of our smaller glasshouses, the alpine house offers visitors the chance to really see plants up close.
In the wild, alpine plants generally only have a growing season of a few weeks each year. Protected by a covering of snow in winter, snowmelt in spring provides the moisture they need to grow. It also exposes them to drying winds and intense sunlight at these elevations. Alpine plants are able to maximize the opportunity for growth by the ability to photosynthesize at low and even sub-zero temperatures.
Most alpine plants, particularly those from high altitudes, need to be kept cool - even in an English summer! The ever-changing displays in this house mean we can give plants a much-needed period of rest and for some, dormancy. The traditional plunge beds allow us to keep the sand watered in warm weather, keeping temperatures down.
Throughout the year cushion plants, small shrubs, herbaceous perennials, bulbs and corms can be seen. Plants such as cyclamen, narcissus, primulas, tulips, sempervivums and ferns feature in these displays.