Like a dream turning true

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I arrived in Glasgow when it was very cold… did I also mention that I was very nearly ravenous? Because I was, and the first thing I did after dropping off my bag at the hotel was go out and look for breakfast.

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Hillhead Bookclub

The interior of this restaurant is interesting, to say the least. It presents a mishmash of a variety of decorative elements, with dishware and cutlery to match. Brunch was delicious (I had the eggs Benedict), and the service was great. And look at that bathroom!

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Glasgow Botanic Gardens

I will make a tiny, though still shameful, confession. Prior to this trip, my mind had been flooded with pictures of the Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh for years, so that I sought it feverishly when I finally visited. And the Glasgow Botanic Gardens? I added them to my list because I try to visit greenhouses whenever I can, but I never bothered to do much research before setting foot in it.

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I was put in my place, however, and rightly so. The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are absolutely gorgeous, and its greenhouses are what I’ve always pictured in my head when thinking of the word “greenhouse,” which was both eerie and lovely to see, like a dream turning true.

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As you can see, they’re lushly filled to the brim with all sorts of plants and all manner of flowers. It really is an extravaganza of color and shape — I kept turning corners and going into new sections and being constantly amazed by how beautiful each one was.

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The gardens were founded in 1817 by Thomas Hopkirk, a distinguished botanist hailing from Glasgow, with the support of local dignitaries as well as the city University. The bulk of its collection consisted of 3,000 plants, donated by Hopkirk, though by 1825 the collection had grown to number 12,000.

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Originally located in Sandyford, the gardens were run by the Royal Botanical Institution of Glasgow, providing the University of Glasgow with teaching aids, supplying plants for medical and botanical classes. The gardens moved to their current location in 1842, and opened to the public only on weekends, at the price of a penny per head.

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Kibble Palace

The Kibble Palace, located within the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, was originally a private conservatory located at Coulport on Loch Long. Designed by John Boucher and James Cousland, the building was known as “The Kibble Crystal Art Palace.” It moved to its present site in 1873, and its interior, which was lit by 600 (sometimes colored) gas lamps, was at first used as a concert hall and meeting place.

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The fern collection which resides in the building was originally planted in the 1880s, and today forms a National Collection.

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I fell absolutely in love with this guy. This is the leucadendron argenteum, commonly known as Silver Tree, or Silver Leaf Tree, since, as you can see, its leaves look like they’re made out of silver. It is an endangered species indigenous to South Africa, and it is remarkably short-lived – they usually don’t last past 20 years! It was difficult to try to capture the visual effect with a camera, but the shine on its little leaves was absolutely stunning.

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