Hidden Gem

I just got back from the most amazing place: The Firs Botanical Grounds. The grounds are part of the university and are located behind Owen’s Park in Fallowfield. Not many people, myself included are aware this place exists. This is a real shame, as it’s one of most beautiful botanical gardens I have ever seen.

Some of the greenhouses feel like you’re stepping into a real rainforest. There is one greenhouse in particular which feels like a hidden part of a tropical forest. The mosses are growing on its walls and there are ferns in there that are almost 100 years old.

The grounds also contain an alpine garden, cactus house, pond, edible garden and house with carnivorous plants. The place is also extremely popular with the local wildlife, and many birds and insects were spotted.

Sadly, the University is actually considering building a car park of all things over this beautiful place. I hope this doesn’t happen. I felt if more people saw this place they would realize how utterly amazing it is- scientifically, historically and aesthetically. It also felt really therapeutic walking about the gardens. I’ve had a stressful week and it lifted my spirits.

Here are some photos. Bear in mind some of them really do not do the place justice, especially the fern and moss house, which is gorgeous.

One of the many greenhouses at The Firs

Bird of paradise. If you look closely you can see the flowers at the top

an alpine

The cactus house. Some of cacti in there are over 90 years old!

Here's one of them!

Insect-eating plants.

Pitcher plants

A different species. There was a dead millipede at the bottom of one.

The Fern and Moss house.


About Gina Allnatt

I have just finished a year long traineeship as a Biology Curator at Manchester Museum. I am currently a research and curation volunteer in the Entomology and Botany departments. -Gina Allnatt
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5 Responses to Hidden Gem

  1. My dad says the alpine is some sort of saxifrage. Anything more than that is difficult because there’s no flower on it! 🙂

  2. Lucie Graham says:

    Is it free to go inside? I’ve been in Manchester 2 years now and it doesn’t surprise me to hear this may be destroyed for parking,I’ve not heard of it before and I believe manchester does a great injustice to its culture by not advertising it. University gardens, museums, buildings often suffer from a lack of public interest due to low (or no funding) for advertising, but the city council should pick up on these things. I hope its saved, it would be wonderful if it could be incorporated into the museum somehow.

  3. It’ll be a great pity if we lose it.

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