On our Glasgow stay, the gardens were on our list of things to do and we spent a good afternoon taking it all in and trying not to get lost or dehydrate in the heat.
The Botanical Gardens were founded in 1817 by Thomas Hopkirk, with the intention that it would aid the University of Glasgow and provide specimens for students to study. The collection began with a donation of 3,000 plants that Hopkirk donated, which increased rapidly to 12,000 by 1825.
The gardens are free to walk around, compared to Victorian times, where the public were only admitted at weekends at the cost of a penny. The gardens as they stand now are situated in the west of Glasgow central surrounded by small independent cafes and shops. Even if you aren't a fan of plants and greenhouses, it's worth going just to see the architecture of the Kibble Palace glasshouse. It feels allegorical how the plants and marble statues interact with the white cast iron and wrought iron of the glass house. Dominantly, as you enter, you see a marble bust of a woman looking to her left, intriguing you to follow her gaze and wander around the corner to see where she is looking: it seems perfectly designed, a little taster of paradise.
After the eden of the Kibble palace a winding network of greenhouses are laid out for you to explore and you have to be careful not to get lost. With each room having multiple connecting entrances and exits, it's very much like a maze and each room holds its own collection. We weren't quite sure we even saw it all but I highly recommend!