Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Inverness Floral Hall

Chris and I love gardens. We're not so big on museums (though I, at least, like them in theory if not practice) and Chris isn't impressed with ruins, castles, or manor houses but we both love walking around gardens. We've been to the Glasgow botanical gardens several times and love Kew gardens in London. Our one attempt to visit the Edinburgh botanical gardens ended abruptly as they closed it due to weather just as we arrived (and a gust of wind blew a surprisingly large chunk of bark into my eye), and our honeymoon was marked by the number of days we spent crossing every path in the lovely gardens in Madeira. 

It is a surprise to both of us that we'd not yet made it to the Inverness Floral Hall just across the river from us. We had tried, once upon a time, though our failure was less spectacular than Edinburgh - we couldn't find anyone to take our admittance fee so we left and just never made it back. Until Sunday when our trip to the pool was foiled by "technical problems" and, as long as we were there, we decided to brave a certain dampness in the air and take advantage of the free admission (because, seriously, £0.50/person would've been so hard to come up with).
We were very pleasantly surprised. The glass house was beautiful with a fountain, grotto, koi pond, benches, statues, and an upstairs patio with a table and chairs.
Next to the glasshouse was another with a beautiful split level succulents garden: 
Outside there we're formal gardens, including a little one in memory of lost babies, and a field turned into a wildlife garden, with flower beds for bees, butterflies, and grass left long outwith paths through it. There was a cute wee thistle next to the patio, and a little section where all the plants had scented leaves one could touch to release their fragrance. 

It was starting to rain so we had lunch inside and then everyone except Little Djinn selected a plant to buy from the nursery and we walked home again. We didn't quite make it around the whole garden and barely spent any time looking at the parts we did see. It is definitely on our "must-see" list for guests and could be our go-out-for-lunch default. Such a nice place.

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