To combat the cold, today we went to the Inverness Botanic Gardens which are known by locals as the floral hall as that was its name until 2014. There's two large greenhouses and a outdoor area that's still being developed. The tropical greenhouse was so warm that our glasses fogged up as soon as we walked in. It was lovely to walk around amongst so much greenery and beautiful flowers and nice and cosy even though there is snow on the ground outside.
As we wandered aimlessly we came across the fabulous site of a pineapple growing in the highlands of Scotland.
I really loved this pitcher plant and thanks to the informative information boards we discovered that this is also known as the monkey cup plant as monkeys often drink the water that is collected in them.
There wasn't much to see outside due to it being the middle of winter, though it was nice to see some of the wooden sculptures like the happy mole and toadstools below.
My favourite area is the cactus and succulent house. There are some beautiful specimens here and I definitely have cacti envy.
Ken has kindly put his hand next to these cacti to show you how big they are. I love these big ball shaped ones, and the one I have is about the size of a small apple - just a little bit more to grow to match these.
Selfie in the succulents house.
When I was young I had some sundew plants which are carniverous, and really fascinated me. At the gardens they have a whole table of different carnivorous plants, with these beautiful pitcher plants being the ones that are currently in season.
Another rare site in the highlands, an orange tree.
The gardens have a resident cat called Shadow, who chose the gardens over his original owners, and he even featured in the local paper in 2016 when that happened. Whenever we go we always keep an eye out for him as he obviously is a very sensible feline and loves the warmth of the greenhouses. We spotted him lying under some plants that were directly above one of the heaters.
When we moved the leaves to get a better picture of him he deigned to open one eye and then just went back to sleep. It's such a hard life being a cat.
Now we wouldn't want to disappoint anyone, so we did stop for coffee and cake. We drove to Drumnadrochit which is on the banks of Loch Ness for a scrummy banoffee pie for me and a decadent sticky toffee pudding for Ken (and yes I did steal a mouthful).
Hope you've enjoyed this day out in the Highlands.
Until next time,
Pamela & Ken