After five years of renovations the Temperate House has been restored to its full Victorian glory

It would have been very difficult to find a more glorious corner of England than Kew Gardens on Saturday. Under a perfect blue sky that banished all memories of the sodden start to the year, pilgrims were paying homage at the botanists’ equivalent of Valhalla.

They had returned to their gleaming cathedral to perform a very secular form of worship. After five years of renovations the Temperate House, home to more than 10,000 plants from the world’s “Goldilocks zones” where temperatures are not too hot or too cold, was open again.

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