Monday, February 13, 2017

London Excursion: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Once again time has got away from me and I have visited a whole number of gardens without managing to post about it. I shall try to work through the backlog in the next few days, starting with my visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew a few weeks back. This is a garden I had visited before many years ago during the summer and it was great to see it again, with more experience and in a different season. Of course, it being January, the outdoor areas of the garden were dominated by muted greens and browns, an effect that was only increased by the cold, grey weather that day. However, in the greenhouses there was of course plenty of color.

The great Palm House, probably Kew's most iconic sight

Inside the Palm House

The wintery Japanese Garden with Kew's chinoiserie pagoda in the background

The Bamboo Garden is arranged around this historic Minka, or traditional Japanese farm house

Kew Palace and a section of its formal gardens

Delicate treasures in the Davies Alpine House

A particularly dainty Tropaeolum

The most ridiculous yet adorable primrose

Scilla maderensis

 A cheerful wattle (Acacia sp.) near the entrance to the Princess of Wales Conservatory

February orchid displays were being set up throughout the conservatory

There was much to see besides orchids, though, like this flowering banana (Musa ornata)

Kew, of course, is somewhat of a Mecca for plant and garden aficionados, having been at the epicenter of global plant exploration and botanical research for centuries. The collections are amazing, especially if one keeps an eye out for the less conspicuous, like the treasures in the enormous collection of alpine and rock garden plants. However, the gardens are also just vast and very pretty. To find out more, visit Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

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