Over a hundred years of tropical heat and daily misting eventually took its toll on the iron structure of the Great Palm House at the National Botanic Gardens, built in 1884, requiring it to be dismantled and completely restored in the early 2000s.
Completion of this 7000-piece jigsaw (not counting the glass) earned a Europa Nostra Heritage Award for Conservation in 2005.
The 1990s restoration of the Curvilinear Range, dating from 1843, employed innovative techniques that allowed most of the original wrought iron to be reused. This was supplemented by wrought iron from Turner’s Palm House at Kew Gardens, where it had been replaced with steel in the 1980s.
There are over 8000 panes of glass in the Curvilinear Range to be kept clean, inside and out. It’s a wonder they have time to do any gardening at all.