Words and Photos by Hayley
I just got back from a winter mini-break to Spain's 3rd city - Valencia. Hopping on a £15 flight! (I know - right; it's more expensive to get the train to Edinburgh!) 2.5hrs after leaving a grey, wet Glasgow we were sat outside in the sunshine on the Med coast.
A quick check of Google maps and I had found Valencia's Botanic Garden, just a few underground stops away from our apartment in the centre of the Old Town. A quiet oasis in the middle of the bustling Spanish city, the garden has been in existence since 1567 and has amassed in excess of 3000 plant and tree species from all over the world.
Whilst every other 'orangery' I have ever visited has always been housed within a glass structure, with 300 days of sunshine and the temperature never dropping below 10C the Orangery here is in fact a 'shade house' built from brick and metal with manually operated sails. There are a couple of glasshouses within the garden, housing tropical plants and some smaller species of cactus. The outdoor cactus and succulent garden was one of my favourites; I'd happily sit there in the sunshine all day!