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 2

In part 1 I talked about the Palm House at Kew gardens; here I want to share my photos of the trees in the gardens. Many of the trees had leaves in brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red and once I spotted these trees they just drew me to them.

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There were so many trees making it feel as though I was in the middle of a forest and I have to admit it made me think of those scenes in films of nature looking colourful, grand and peaceful.

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I did also come across this weird looking thing. Looking at the sign attached, it said this was a ‘tree whisperer’. I’m guessing playing certain types of sounds and music must help the trees grow (or maybe keep them company)

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I also came across several trees that had fallen over, but what I really liked was that the trees had been left where they has fallen so people can see the roots and earth around it to get a feel of how things would be in their natural habitat (here they have of course cut away the branches so you can get up close and not hurt yourself)

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There were also some great, tall trees that seemed to be placed neatly in rows, that really reminded me of a woodland area. Trees were spaced out leaving the air feeling fresher too.

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My favourite big trees though were the Redwoods. I have seen these trees on television and read about them to know that these can grow to be enormous and live for a very long time. I loved the reddish colour and texture of trunks, with the branches shooting out high above.

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What I found mind blowing was just how wide the trunks can grow – there is a plaque in the middle of the path with measurements

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And in case you can’t quite tell – it’s the size of the outer ring shown in the photo below!

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I came across this quote from John Steinbeck “The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” And I have to admit that is exactly how they made me feel; of all the photos I’ve taken of them none feel like they are even close to caturing the granduer of these trees – they really do leave you awe struck.

There were so many more trees, such as fir trees and pine trees but I couldn’t possibly try to include them all in this one post. The trees are arranged in different areas so you get a feel for their natural environment. Each area is so different to the next; in the way the air feels around them – some parts being stuffy as the branches and surrounding foliage being quite dense to the more spaced out taller trees being brighter . I have to say that this was the best part of my visit, just being able to walk around and take in the colours, smells and textures. It may sound a bit cliched but it felt really good for my soul, it was so peaceful and made me feel really close to nature, and definitely what I needed.