A Grand Day out: Kew Gardens – Part 1.
Last January, in all the snow and cold, I came up with the idea of a visit to Kew Gardens as soon as was convenient.
I persuaded a work colleague to come with me, and we found a local coach firm that does day trips all over the country to touristy places and was doing a day out to Kew Gardens mid-April, so we booked some seats. Its easier for us to get to Kew by coach as there is virtually no parking available at their, I never want to drive in London and quite frankly my heap of a car would have surely died en-route.
I’ve taken in access of over 300 photos of my day out so I’m going to chop up the day by Greenhouses visited and blog in parts. I hope that works out ok.
So we arrived at about 11am on a Thursday Morning, it was cool, damp after some night-time rain and quite overcast. I’ve had to manipulate some of my pictures as they came out a bit dark due to the low cloud cover.
The first Glasshouse visited was the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
The Princess of Wales Conservatory was opened in 1987 by Diana, Princess of Wales. It is the most complex greenhouse at Kew, containing ten computer-controlled climatic zones under one roof.
The two main climatic areas are the dry tropics, representing the world’s warm, arid areas, and the wet tropics, which has moisture loving plants from rainforests and mangrove swamps. The eight remaining zones include a seasonally dry zone containing desert and savanna plants, plus sections for carnivorous plants, ferns and orchids.
The first Micro-Climate upon entry is the Fern Zone.
Around another wide pathway were more big ferns..
Then on through a glass door into Zone 6 for Tropical Orchids.
There were still plenty in flower.
We also found a sign that indicated that a bit of carving was done on a dead tree-fern by residents of a group of Tropical Islands called Tuvalu.
We found many Orchid plants positioned out as you might find them in the Tropics.
More gorgeous Plants on display behind glass.
Then through another Door into Zone 7 for tropical Orchids…
Bit warmer in here..!
Stunning colours on those Orchids.
Then in through another door into the main tropical section, masses of plants on every surface, the following pictures are just some highlights I photographed.
Another Climber, a Passion flower.
Now some views across the inside of the area.
In order to keep the humidity up, there were lots of computer controlled misting units suspended up high, every so often they would spray out a fine mist, and glasses and camera lenses would immediately fog up.!
There was also a nice deep pond with the start of a Mangrove swap growing at one side.
There were several Tropical water plants growing in this pond as well.
A Telephoto lens was needed for this next picture.
Even in the dull light it practically glowed.!
Now there’s something that not a lot of people may know about the Tropical section in the Conservatory, the fact is the public are not alone, I’ve seen them before, but this was the first time that I have been able to get a decent picture of them………
Lets have a look at one more Orchid.
The world-famous Jade Vine.
Onto the last section from the Tropics and on into the Desert section at the Southern End of the complex.
A lot of really interesting plants in this section, unfortunately quite a few unruly children as well, I waited ages for the scream of an impaled child.
I saw lots of Agaves, and took pictures of them for a certain Pig Farming Agave Lover.
This Desert section of the Princess of Wales Conservatory is mostly heated by the sunlight with additional heating used at night or in winter to maintain a minimum temperature.
I found an interesting specimen of a fasciation in a cacti.
A bright and airy house,again as the Tropical section, the plants here looked superb and in very good condition.
One of my favourite plants here was this Echium, unfortunately it was growing in the middle of a big bed away from the path, so I could not see its label. I took the picture with a telephoto lens.
There was a nice collection of Lithops, or Living Stones here, but the were safely growing away behind a security screen. It took a moment to distinguish between plant and stone in some cases.
Finally arrived at the South exit door, before I went outside I found this small bed of planted up Scented Pelargoniums which revealed this lovely flower.
If your still with me after all those pictures, then thankyou.
Hopefully not too much text, and just lots of pictures which you enjoyed.
My next few blogs will feature the Alpine house, The waterlily House, The Palm House, The Temperate House, The Xstrata Treetop Walkway, some outdoor shots, Parrots, and an old tree.
So until then, here’s a picture of a Brass Bum.
Thank you for reading.