Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Winter Visit to Kew

We decided to take a well deserved break from our usual routines with a visit to Kew Gardens this afternoon. Although a reasonably mild winters day we kept to the inside spaces.

First off was the iconic Palm House,  which was designed by architect Decimus Burton and iron-maker Richard Turner in the 1840's. We were fortunate that it was not a popular day to visit Kew, and had most of the glasshouses almost to ourselves.

All through the Palm House, the wrought iron work is visible.
Bright Croton, amongst the various shades of green. 
Pritchardia eliptica
I couldn't spot a name for this one, can anyone name it for me?
Fortunately we had left the heels at home :)
Cecropia : I love the shape of the leaves on this tree, if only it was hardy!
The Palm House, the day was not as gloomy as this photo suggests!
After the Palm house we went over to the Temperate house. Several areas are currently closed to the public for surveying. The building requires substantial restoration work, which given its Victorian heritage is understandable. Less understandable is that it was last restored in the early 1980's. It would seem that the work done then perhaps was not as long lived as it should have been. Hopefully this restoration will last longer than 30 years.

Our final glasshouse was the Princess of Wales Conservatory, a modern glasshouse featuring a number of individual climatic zones.

Brownea grandiceps 
Another one we could see a name for, any ideas?

This was a fairly short visit, but as we once again were gifted a Kew Membership from my Parents for Christmas, we will be able to visit several times over the coming year.



  1. Truly Kewly - as an English teacher in a horticultural school, I have students work on Kew Gardens year after year, it's like a second garden to me now ! I couldn't help noticing that in the Palm House, some leaves have very big nervures, complementing nicely the wrought-iron structures. Have a lovely end of year celebration you two !

  2. Nice day for it. Hopefully I'll not be doing any insane revision courses the next time you're down visiting.

  3. What an incredible place. Someday I will get a chance to visit.

    I went to University of California Berkeley Botanical Garden today and saw some of the same plants!


  4. I loved hearing that you almost had the place to it was a Wednesday and yet IKEA was as busy as a Saturday, odd.

    I've never particularly cared for Croton but seem to be rethinking that, your picture pushes me a little further along. Love the beautiful. Hope to visit someday!

  5. It is years since I last visited, really must try and make an effort.

    Living in an 1860 cottage, to me restoration is an on going thing, not something where you do a load of work then leave it for years. These old buildings have to cared for and pampered, on a regular basis, otherwise they complain and produce very large bills!!!

  6. Fantastic photos. I like the one where you are looking down and the man is looking up wondering what the heck you are taking his photo for. LOL Some great plants and the cactus area is cool. Some very unusual plants there and lovely blooms.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  7. I haven't been for nigh on twenty years. No excuse - must get there. Not like it's that far!

  8. That's interesting to hear Celine, and glad you liked it!

    Have to catch up very soon again at Kew Julia, hopefully sometime early in the new year. We haven't been back to Kew for more than six months but managed to again a few days ago :)

    Holley, Gerhard, glad you liked it!

    Loree, the entire period between Christmas and New Year does feel more like a very long Saturday, thankfully it was not as busy as we thought when we visited. Funny you mentioned about the croton as you're not the only one to have said that before, quite a lot actually. It seems to be a love it or hate it sort of plant :)

    Well spotted Cher, that made me laugh when I looked at the photos the second time round :)

    David, you ought to visit soon! And it's free to get in on New Year's day :)

  9. Thanks for taking us all along with you. I hope I get to visit Kew soon. I'd probably be embarassingly ecstatic.

  10. Visiting the Kew is definitely on my bucket list, the botanical gardens of Europe are incredible. Thanks for the tour!

    Wishing you guys a successful and excellent New Year, thanks for the encouragement and laughs. 2012 is going to be a good one, I can sense it!


Thank you for taking the time to reply to our post, we love reading comments and hearing your views.

Due to the increased level of spam, please note comments on older posts are moderated and only published after approval. All new comments are read and any spam is deleted.