Friday 7 April 2017

Kew Gardens

Amazingly in all the years I have lived in or around London I have never managed to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, yet it has always been one of those places I have wanted to see... so another thing to do for my sixty x sixty list that I finally achieved last week. I joined a coach trip from our village on the warmest day of the year so far. There were mutterings about being of an age where one goes on day trips on a coach but I rose above it...

And I'm so glad I did because it was a fabulous day out, once I got over the embarrassment of turning up at the bus stop at 9.50 for a 10.00 am departure to find everyone already on the coach waiting to go. Of course the last remaining seat was in the back row (it's where the naughty children always sit) so I had to do a walk of shame down the entire length of the coach! On arrival we were greeted by the sight of an avenue of magnolia trees in full bloom which was stunning.

From there I ventured into the Princess of Wales Conservatory where there was an amazing display of orchids and other exotic plants.

Beautiful succulents

and cactii too.

Outside, the highlight for me was the cherry blossom

It was breathtakingly beautiful and I can fully appreciate why in Japan that picnicking under cherry blossom is something of a tradition, known as "hanami"

Instead I chose to eat my picnic overlooking the tranquil Japanese garden.Not a bad place to stop for lunch!
This inquisitive chap sat at the end of my bench getting ever closer to my lunch box the entire time I was eating... but I didn't share it with him!

I then walked around the treetop walkway with it's wonderful bird's-eye view of the gardens and beyond. I imagine it will have a very different vista once the canopy is in leaf.

But at the moment it still looks quite bare.

I couldn't visit Kew without a going into the iconic Palm House but I'm afraid my interest in palms wasn't enough to make me stay in this giant greenhouse for very long as it was overwhelmingly hot... so hot my glasses steamed up and I couldn't see anything anyway!

And so I spent the rest of the day strolling around the park admiring the woodland garden and majestic redwoods.

Wandering around the lake and being impressed by the displays of tulips with the clever underplanting of primula

The day finished with a well earned ice cream whilst I admired the classic proportions of Kew Palace, country home to George III. It looks just like a dolls house!

Of course I came home inspired to get my garden into shape which seems a never ending job. Having spent most of last spring unable to do anything in the garden due to the broken ankle and then the arrival of a boisterous puppy meant it was rather neglected last year so there is much to do now and I despair of it ever looking tidy, never mind beautiful. But I doubt the gardeners at Kew have help from a lively labrador who likes to dig everywhere, chew anything that resembles a stick... and thinks that flowers pots are there merely so he can up end them onto the patio!

That said... I'm off to do a bit of digging now*. Have a lovely weekend. It sounds like it's going to be a good one.

* Blogger wouldn't load my post this afternoon, so I have now been and finished my digging and I'm enjoying a Friday night G & T!


  1. Thank you for sharing your wonderful photos of your trip to Kew. I have never been but have seen several TV programmes about it. It must be a fascinating place to visit. I am battling with the garden too. Having concentrated so much on the house, I find the weeds are already threatening to take over once more. A gardener's work is never done.

  2. Isn't Kew beautiful. What a great time of year to visit with all the blossom. You made me laugh with your walk of shame. We kept a whole coachload waiting once in Austria when we got carried away with admiring too many things. B x

  3. Oh my, you are putting me off dog ownership! Kew looks gorgeous, I've never been but it's somewhere I'd love to see one day. Our little town does regular coach trips to London, and when I went it was the same, I turned up nice and early but the coach was already full. There must be a protocol no-one has told us about. Well done on the digging, enjoy the G&T and I hope you have a lovely weekend. CJ xx

  4. I loved seeing Kew today! I have been only once and loved every minute of it. I hope that G&T was good xx

  5. Gina, I admit to being a bit shocked that I might have visited Kew many more times than you. It would be a joy to have you join me for my next visit!

    I laughed with recognition at the humidity of the lovely Palm House!

    I've visited Kew over the years at many differing seasons. and would recommend it during any of them.

    I remember seeing random wandering crocus flowers in the entry area...cadmium yellow blooms amid the deep lavenders. Friendly, if not downright aggressive water fowl on the welcoming committee, sculptural shapes of boxwood, and so much more.

    I also remember having a somewhat Miss Marple atmospheric Sunday lunch at a lovely restaurant on the border of Kew, called Maids of Honour. Your own baking would equal theirs, but what a treat it would be to meet you there. xo

  6. So beautiful Gina...I would love to see it, all that gorgeous blossom. I always find that Palm Houses take my breath away ......physically, they can be hot!
    Still can't understand why they were ready to go at 9.50am when the time to leave was 10am!!!! I probably wouldn't have been there until 10.05am. :)

  7. Lovely pictures. Never visited Kew so thanks for the tour. You've reminded me that my aunt used to take me on coach day trips when I was little, often on a so called mystery tour. You got on never knowing where you'd end up!

  8. What a great day out. I went to Kew in the late 80s and would love to go back as I'm sure it's changed since then. I rather fancy the tree top walk.

  9. I haven't been to Kew for years and years. I'm sure the treetop walkway wasn't there then. The Princess of Wales conservatory was brand new though and I remember the orchid displays. Fabulous!

  10. It's over 25 years since I went to Kew but I do love botanical gardens for their diversity. Love the succulents and cacti photos and conjuring up the picture of you wandering unsighted in the palm house with steamed up glasses! Such a classy look! Our cherry trees are only just bursting into flower but the Spring garden is a joyous one and I'm glad you had such a beautiful day.

  11. Your photos and description of Kew is making me even more excited about my first visit planned for the beginning of May. Just a few more weeks to go! I hope your gardening is going well with out too much 'help' from Hector.

  12. You were 10 minutes early for the coach so no disgrace at all. Kew looks wonderful in your photos, especially the Magnolia and the Cherry blossom. It's been long time since I went, must remedy that. Don't overdo it in the garden :)

  13. I've never been to the Royal Gardens, but I've always wanted to go. It sounds like spring is the time to go -- thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures Gina!

  14. Oh I love the description of you being early, yet late, for the coach. Very embarrassing, but at least you had the comfort of being the naughtiest girl on the bus! Kew looks amazing, the Kew Palace building is fab too. I would love tomsee inside it if it is open to the public X


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