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Into The Hot Houses

Full length of the cactus house showing the variety of cactus and succulents
Cactus and succulent house

A couple of weeks ago I covered a trip to the Botanic Gardens in Inverness – but only covered the journey through the outside gardens. There are also 2 large glasshouses: one a warm, spacious environment and the other a more tropical damp environment. Both are on 2 levels but the levels are more obvious in the cactus and succulents house.

A wide variety of plants

I don’t think I really realised until then the wide variety of different succulents and cacti that exist. There’s a mix of colours and textures. There are some I really wouldn’t want to get too close to as they are completely covered in a multitude of sharp spines, to others that are really fluffy looking. Although to be honest, I didn’t try touching them either in case they were slightly sharper than they looked. Nature has a way of tricking you sometimes.

I was quite taken with some of the flowers on the cactus as they were very colourful.

The succulents also looked lovely as they too had a wide variety of different colours and textures.

Carnivorous plants

In between the two different glasshouses is a fascinating area. It’s full of the man-eaters. OK, well, yes I know, that’s a gross exaggeration. There are lots of carnivorous plants – but they don’t eat humans, they’re more happy with insects. I had seen some Venus Flytraps on a previous visit but didn’t notice any on this visit. The one thing that did surprise me though was that these plants didn’t just rely on attracting insects with their “killing mechanism” they had beautiful flowers too.

The tropical glasshouses

Moving onto the more tropical glasshouse this is a real joy to walk through as the plants are really closely planted and are a beautiful mix of colours in both their foliage and flowers, especially the entrance from the cactus greenhouse. When you’re wandering through this area you really feel as is you are pushing your way through a tropical paradise.

There were far too many flowers to get individual closeups but I have singled out some of my favourites in this section. From flowers that looked like Birds of Paradise, some that looked like beaks of Parrots and a tree covered in Cork.

There’s also a small waterfall and a fish pond with lots of different sized fishes and a couple that really looked as if they were monsters from the deep.

So two very different environments, one stark almost minimalist in feel with the cactus and the succulents while the other is lush and tropical where you feel the plants are all vying with each other as they would in the wild.

Definitely a place to visit especially with winter rapidly approaching –

This blog was originally published on:

20 October 2017

and subsequently modified on:  

5 February 2024