Following Kews opening of a gallery dedicated to botanical art, industry commentator Anthony Lambert examines Britains devotion to glasshouses.
Writing in the Independents online travel pages Mr Lambert notes that for gardening enthusiasts, botanic gardens are like "a living catalogue", adding that future generations are likely to be thankful for their work in creating banks of seeds.
He explains that the first botanic gardens were intended to provide plants that could be used as medicines, noting that the Oxford Botanic Garden – founded in 1621 – was the first glasshouse of its kind in the British Isles.
Concluding, Mr Lambert explains that such structures are able to recreate tropical climates and house plants that would not normally be able to grow in Britains climate.
The new Kew glasshouse is the venues Shirley Sherwood Gallery and provides the artwork with specially maintained humidity and light conditions through features such as bore holes.