WHERE IS IT: In the city's West End, with the main gate accessible where Byres Road meets Great Western Road.
In the few weeks of the year that Glaswegians call “summer” you will often find residents and students flocking to this park, situated near the University of Glasgow in the West End. The gardens were originally developed in 1817 to supply the university with plants for their botany department.
The gardens have an array of glasshouses, but the most impressive is Kibble Palace. The 19th Century greenhouse was initially conceived by John Kibble for his home in Coulport, then a summer retreat for wealthy Glaswegians, but now a Royal Navy Armament Depot. The conservatory was a famous sight of Coulport for over a decade until Kibble himself donated it to the Gardens in 1872. It was dismantled and shipped up the River Clyde on a barge, and reassembled in its current position.
Nearly 130 years later, the ironwork was heavily corroded, and so the Palace was shut between 2003 and 2006 while a £7 million repair project took place. Inside features an array of plant life, trees and herbs, such as the Australian Bottlebrush, Japanese Banana, and Camellia cultivars as well as various statues.
The gardens themselves have hosted numerous events, and continue to do so, including the outdoor Shakespeare festival company Bard in the Botanics. Occasionally they even perform inside Kibble Palace and is well worth trying to catch.
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