Asia and Australia Edition: China, Royal Wedding, Donald Trump: Your Monday Briefing


Royal fever’s not over yet. (At least for us.)

Today, we take a look inside Temperate House, the largest Victorian greenhouse in the world, which recently reopened at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London after a multiyear renovation that cost £41 million ($55.2 million).

The greenhouse was designed by Decimus Burton and opened in 1863. Today it houses over 10,000 plants, including some of the rarest and most threatened, from temperate regions of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific islands.

For example: Taxus wallichiana, a Nepalese plant that is used to make a chemotherapy drug called Taxol. Researchers are now cloning it to help conserve it in the wild.

The renovation was done by the firm Donald Insall Associates, which sought to adapt the building with modern technology to improve environmental control, optimizing air and light for the plants.

A reviewer for The Guardian noted how painstaking the work was. Tens of thousands of items were removed and repaired, and 15,000 panes of glass were replaced.

“It has been a mammoth undertaking, and the result is suitably breathtaking,” the critic Oliver Wainwright concluded.