Gardening Magazine

The Tropical Ravine

By Chrryblossomtat2
Yesterday was a good day - can I get a "Hallelujah"? PLEASE read to the end - there is exciting news!
We took it easy, went to do our Saturday morning messages and have a coffee whilst we planned something fun for the afternoon. The sun was shining and there was absolutely no rain on the forecast so we decided to finally go and visit the refurbished Tropical Ravine up in Belfast's Botanic Gardens. For anyone who has lived, worked or studied near Belfast the Botanic Gardens are a place of joy and we are no different.
The Tropical Ravine
I remember the last time I was in the Ravine and it was awesome, in a run down, rusty and mouldy way. A place that had a certain smell, that of rotting plant life and stagnant water but good gracious was it beautiful at the same time.
2015 photograph - property of The Irish News
photo of renovated Ravine - Carrie Gault 2018
This Victorian beauty was originally opened in 1889 as a Temperate House and extended only a couple of years later to create a additional Tropical section. After that is wasn't touched, but for a new roof in the 1980's. So it was a brilliant surprise when it closed in November 2015 for a full £3.8 million renovation.  It finally re-opened on the 12th April this year (2018) and all I can say is "wow!"
Here are a few photographs, oh and we entered at the new bottom entrance - leading straight into the Tropical section....
The Tropical Ravine
It was displayed on the wooden framed thermometer here that the temperature was 36.3 degrees but the humidity was an overwhelming 53%. There aren't many photos from this section as I was melting, literally melting into a puddle....
The Tropical RavineThe misting mechanism over the tropical plants and the gorgeous new roof and windows. 
The Tropical RavineIt even looks too humid to be survivable, ahaha 
The Tropical RavineThe designers kept the old rusty railings and simply painted them and added a new wooden top.
I was more in my element when it came to the Temperature part of the Ravine, I could have stayed there quite some time, soaking up all the calming greens and the playful textures and explosions of color here and there. There is also the original waterfall in this part and the sound is lovely. Sadly there were 'other people' (always a bother when you want to have quiet meditation and maybe a snooze) so I was a little on edge and stuck to simply wandering around and getting my photos :)
The Tropical Ravine
The Tropical RavineAn explosion of green
The Tropical RavineBanana leaves are incredible, I adore the way they reflect the light
The Tropical RavineThe tricking waterfall
The Tropical RavineOh how I do love a fern or 6 
The Tropical RavineThe extremely rare and delicate Killarney Fern
The Tropical RavineClockwise from top left - the 'Makaya bella', the 'Nerium oleander' in bud and flower, 'Hibicus' in both in pink and white, 'Senna floribuna' from a distance.
The Tropical RavineThe same banana plant as before but from this side we could see it was in fruit 
The Tropical RavineJust one more green photo before I go.
*****I would like to share that this is also going to be the 1st blog post on my revamped ecotherapy blog! "What?" you say"Yes, 10 years on the same blog has left me wanting a new adventure, so I will keep 'Grow Our Own' as an archive and move to my new address at 'A Stubborn Optimist'. Exciting times!I do hope you will join me there. And tell your friends too" 😊
Love, Carrie xxx*****

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