From the Tropics of Northern Ireland

It was gray and drizzly in Belfast, and I so truly needed this pick-me-up from the Palm House in Belfast. Plus it’s free!

I’m also not going to complain about the warmer temperature inside. 

The Palm House was completed in 1840 and is one of the earliest examples of a glass and iron greenhouse. Collecting “exotic” things from around the Empire was all the rage in Victorian Britain, and interesting things always happen when importation–whether it be horticultural, cultural, idealogical, etc.–occurs. I say “interesting” because the existing and the foreign suddenly have to co-exist, and the consequences are, at best, nuanced. At worst, either the existing or the foreign cease to exist. In the case of the Palm House, there is something really lovely about the white, curling structure juxtaposed with the green plants.


I loved the white ironwork, but I think a normal person (i.e. not a recovering architecture student) would be more interested in the plants.



As you can tell, I went a little photo-crazy. The Palm House is just a small part of the larger Belfast Botanic Gardens. With a warm tea in your hand, it’s a great way to spend a brisk Belfast morning.


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