An opportunity recently arose to revisit the Eden Project on a mild and sunny Saturday afternoon to see in detail how it has evolved over the past few years. It was a particularly pleasant experience to wander around at leisure out of season yet having a window of reasonable weather.
The project opened in 2001 after years of planning is situated in a disused China Clay quarry. The extensive range of plants, shrubs and trees which come from all over the world have matured and filled out to mirror their natural habitat. The exotic flower pictured high up in the tree was certainly one with which I am not familiar. For the brave near the top of the Tropical Biome is a metal walkway 50 metres from ground level with a viewing platform to survey the Jungle growing below !
It was a surprise to find that the complex is open until 9pm which allows visitors to experience the Biomes in the dark. With the near 30 degree heat, the clever illuminations creating atmosphere and the tropical birds tweeting it is as close to the Tropics that one can get without actually going there. In both the Tropical and Mediterranean Biomes there are boards with useful information all along the route describing plants, habitats and their history.
The Eden Project is definitely worth making a special trip for since even the expert gardener will learn something new. For the amateur gardener or horticultural student the Eden Project runs regular gardening & horticultural courses.