The “Pit”

There is one glasshouse that looks a bit different. The Pit House is sunk into the ground. This helps keep some of our special plants at the right temperature. The earth around the glasshouse stops quick changes in temperature from harming the plants.

One of the special plants in the Pit House is the Welwitschia mirabilis. This plant comes from the Namib desert in Africa. It has separate male and female plants and can live for thousands of years. The plant is not endangered but because it grows slowly it could be at risk. Gardens like ours make sure that if something happened to the wild plants there would be plants to replace them.

Plants like the Welwitschia mirabilis need stable temperatures. They also cannot be moved. This means that restoring this glasshouse is a bit harder. Instead of taking down the whole glasshouse and rebuilding it we have to replace each pane of glass one at a time. Each pane is replaced with plastic while it is restored meaning the plants are always protected.

The Pit House is not open to the public because the plants are so sensitive. When the glasshouses reopen we are going to make it easier to see inside the Pit House. This will let more people learn more about this extra special glasshouse.