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.

Pink ice

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This tropical flower is called Pink Ice Protea and is very unusual. The petals really stand out; the furry spiky small petals within and the larger, smoother ones outside. The range of colours also make for a nice contrast with bright pink with green beneath and the rich purple tip. This would be a nice addition to any vase.

Kew Gardens – Autumn visit

I recently went to Kew Gardens in West London; the last time I went was in school and I’d been meaning to go back ever since, especially as over the last couple of years there’s been some changes. For some reason or another I just wasn’t able to go, so a couple of weeks ago I decided not to wait anymore and just go. Initially I was a bit apprehensive about going in late autumn, as I imagined that most of the trees would have shed their leaves and there wouldn’t be much to look at, as well as the point that I always imagined going in late spring/early summer to see nature blossoming. In the end I decided to go anyway and see what there was to see, and learn from the experience.

I packed my DSLR camera to take with me and got there by mid morning. I was really lucky with the weather as it was nice and bright, and not grey and cloudy like it had been in previous days. I was also pleased to see that as we’ve had a mild autumn in London so far, most of the trees still had their leaves, and many were in now in brilliant shades of yellow, red and orange, which in the bright sun looked even more magnificent.

Here are a few of the photos that I was able to take whilst there, but what I didn’t realise was just how big the Gardens were- that after walking around for about 5 hours I still hadn’t managed to see all of it!

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Seeing as I managed to take lots of photos and because there’s was so much to see I’ve decided to do separate posts on different parts of Kew Gardens, this one being about the Palm House which houses plants from tropical and subtropical climates all over the world

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Here’s a banana tree with bananas growing from it, with leaves so big you could place two grown ups end to end and the leaves would still be bigger! There was also a pineapple plant – these pineapples were so tiny – the size of walnuts

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The walkways were full of leaves growing over it, giving you a an idea of how they would grow in their natural habitat

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There was a strange looking plant growing in the Palm House too called a Cycad, that is known as a living fossil. These plants have been around before dinosaurs, living up to 2500 years long!

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There is so much more to see but I don’t want to post too many photos of one area in case you want to visit the Gardens soon. I will hopefully be able to do another post soon on another part of Kew gardens