Friday, 22 December 2017

A Visit To.......The Living Rainforest

I woke up on Sunday with an urge for a botanical type visit to somewhere new, so we did a bit of Googling and decided to pootle off to The Living Rainforest, just off the M4 near Newbury.
I am super interested at the moment in the way people are embracing houseplants and keen to remind folk that houseplants are garden and forest plants in other climes and I am trying to work out how we link the two things so that indoor gardeners realise that they are a part of the gardening community, even if they are just getting planty indoors. Anyway that's for another day!!

The Living Rainforest is on the site of what was Wyld Court Orchids in Hampstead Norreys in Berkshire, and is run by the Trust for Sustainable Living. The greenhouses now house three separate rainforest zones, with appropriate planting, and some wildlife, from each in the separate zones. Sadly when we were there the sloth was hiding, but we did see his back. What amazed me the most is that the centre supports 23,000 school children per year to learn about the rainforest and it's importance for the planet, which for me makes it a space I will always want to support. If we are to change the way we perceive the world we have to turn children and young people into passionate environmentalists who will use future votes to make sure we protect what effectively protects us.

I am not going to bore you with lots of words here because the photos really do speak for themselves, but what I will say is that this is a great place to visit with or without children, and if you are at all interested in what we today see as houseplants in their natural environments or just with each other as they would be in rainforests across the world, this is a great place to visit. Plus, go once, and you have a ticket for a year!!

Jade Vine (Strongyloden macrobotrys) from the Philippines.
Monstera deliciosa and water lettuce in one of the ponds. 
Anthurium veitchii. The leaf was as tall as me!
Madagascan Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)
More ponds and more Monstera!

For further info and visiting details go to the website at


  1. Nicely written and great to get an insight into gems of places like this, and, as you say, the pictures speak for themselves !

  2. Monstera is truly amazing! Definitely putting it on my list of gardens to visit!