Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sheffield Winter Garden.

Sheffield Winter Garden, inside
Photo © Copyright David Hallam-Jones
and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
As the Silver Surfer would no doubt say, what new and strange madness is this?

It's a small chunk of rain forest in the middle of the city. Apparently it's 21 metres high, 22 metres wide and 70 metres long and is, according to Wikipedia, the largest urban glasshouse in Europe.

Not only does it feature all manner of strange and exotic plants, it also has all kinds of dinky little water features into which one may fling one's wish-laden coins and never have the courage to retrieve them from.

For someone who grew up in the city during a time when Sheffield city centre seemed to consist entirely of concrete boxes, scary underpasses and access-destroying dual carriageways, its arrival in 2003 came like something from outer space and offered proof that town planning's come a long way since the days of the 1960s and 1970s.

The only problem I have with it is the shortage of wildlife. I mean, come on, would it really kill them to let some gibbons loose in it? Let's face it, who doesn't want wild gibbons in their city centre?

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