Impromptu visit to Kew

One of my favourite places in London is Kew Gardens, so when my sister and her husband invited me for an impromptu trip recently I couldn’t say no. Kew is known for having plants, trees and flowers from around the world, there’s so much to see and it’s a great place to get lost in for the day.

First stop was the Hive which is a large structure made of metal and has lights that blink according to bee activity in a real beehive at Kew.

You can’t go to Kew and not visit the Palm House, which holds tropical plants from around the world. It’s usually really hot in here and as usual I had to wait for my camera to de-fog before I could take some photos. One plant we were pleased to find was the Sensitive plant. When you touch the open leaves they react immediately and close together.

From there we went to the Waterlily House hoping to find the giant lily pads that I remember from my childhood but have missed on my previous visits. Unfortunately they’d been moved, so I’ll have to try again another time. I did, however see some pretty waterlily flowers though.

Next we went to the Woodland area, and with it being late summer and the weather unsettled we got caught in a heavy downpour, thankfully though we were able to shelter under a giant Elm tree until the rain stopped. The Woodland area had a great number of trees of all types, my favourite though were the Redwood trees. These giants have a reddish, rough grain trunk and can grow to a phenomenal size.

Walking further along came across a huge wooden table, which seems like it would be perfect for all my family when they come to dinner! And hidden nearby was a log trail that you could walk across, made up of different types of trees, so educational as well as fun. There was also a badger set and tunnels you could go into.

By the time we reached the log trail we’d made it to the far end of the grounds and it was getting late so we started heading back towards the gates. I had a relaxing, fun day out and it’s always a pleasure and a privilege to see the beautiful plants, trees and flowers that can be found around the world so close to where I live.

Kew Gardens – Autumn visit 3

At Kew Gardens one of the areas that was quite seasonal to the autum/winter period was the berry walk, with lots of different species of berries dotted about. I’m not sure if any were edible but they looked pretty in various colours and shades.

IMG_2304

I found it interesting how some berries look quite similar in colour and size but the leaves on the branches and bushes look quite different or didn’t have any at all

IMG_2405

IMG_2205

I love the purple colour of these berries, which are called Callicarpa japonica and are not edible but can be used to make herbal tea which sounds interesting

IMG_2444

Walking around I also spotted that there were several types of mushrooms growing, mainly under trees where dead leaves and foliage can decompose in the moist air, nourishing and encouraging fungal growth. I was quite fascinated with them as I haven’t seen so many different types of mushrooms growing in nature, but at the same time I did feel quite grossed out so I didn’t get too close and relied on my zoom to get a better look

IMG_2280

IMG_2423

I do quite like these ones though, the creases on the stem make it look like they have a wrapping around them

IMG_2322

One of the things I really liked at Kew was that although it is clear to see that plants and trees have been categorised according to types, species and even climate, British nature has found a way to join in, to become part of a particular area no matter where it comes from, such as mushrooms under pine trees or squirrels up Redwoods.

My other posts of Kew Gardens can be found on the links below
Kew Gardens part 1
Kew gardens part 2