February can be a bit chilly in the garden, but refuge can always be found in the Glasshouse Range at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. The glasshouses are arranged with various bays to house plants from different parts of the globe, all kept at the correct temperature and humidity for the plants to thrive.
This is the corridor which links the different bays. As you can see there are many plants making their homes here and they, rather grudgingly, allow access to the intrepid explorer.
The first bay we come to is dedicated to plants from South-West Australia and Southern Africa, two of the richest and most diverse botanical areas of the world.
Plants arrived on isolated islands when their seeds were carried on ocean currents, by the wind, or by birds. Once established they then followed their own evolutionary course, over thousands of years, diverging from the mainland species from which they descended.
In here all is cool and calm. These mountain plants are small, neat and colourful - and some of my favourites.
The central part of the Glasshouse Range is taller and more spacious, as it attempts to enclose the rampant growth of the rainforest plants. Children love being "in the jungle" and a few junior botanists were in attendance this morning. Meanwhile a much older photographer was trying to prevent the lens fogging up in the warm, humid air.
No respite from the humidity in here! Besides the rampant greenery there was also this striking Bromeliad in flower.
The final bay contains plants from deserts including many types of cacti. Then you can either go directly back out to the garden, or you can fight your way back through the plants in the connecting corridor.