A holiday home for plants

Restoring our glasshouses is hard for lots of reasons. One of the reasons is that when we fix a glasshouse we need to take all the plants out of it. The problem is that there is a reason that the plants live in a glasshouse. These plants like things to be a certain way. They like it when the temperature stays the same and when the water in the air and soil stays the same. The Garden doesn’t have any spare glasshouses that the plants can live in until their homes are fixed. This is why as part of our Glasshouse Restoration Project we have built a temporary polytunnel.

A polytunnel is a small building made of plastic. It lets light through and keeps the inside warm and wet. It is like a holiday home for our plants when their home is being fixed. The first glasshouse to be fixed is our cool fernery. This means that the first plants that get to go on holiday are the ferns and cycads. The plants will live here until their home is repaired enough for them to return.

Just like a holiday home, the polytunnel can only be temporary. The ferns will eventually need to go back to their own glasshouse. We only have one small polytunnel and different plants will need to go in it at different times of the year. The Gardeners have carefully come up with a timetable which follows the seasons. This means that we fix each glasshouse at a time of year when it is safest for the plants to be outside or to take a trip to the polytunnel.