Five-year project involved moving 10,000 plants and replacing 15,000 panes of glass

After five years, 10,000 plants uprooted and replanted, 15,000 panes of glass replaced, 69,000 sections of metal, stone and timber repaired or replaced, enough scaffolding to stretch the length of the M25, and £41m spent, the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world is ready to open its doors again. The Temperate House in Kew Gardens is once again, as the naturalist Sir David Attenborough describes it, “a breathtakingly beautiful space”.

The great glass and iron doors to this botanical cathedral, first opened in 1863, closed in 2013 for the most complex restoration project in the history of Kew Gardens, and will reopen to the public on Saturday.

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