A Grand Day out at Kew Pt 2. Alpine House to Palm House and Beyond…. 2013


A Grand Day out at Kew Gardens. : The Alpine House into the Palms House..

Following on from my last Kew post, after I left the Princess of Wales Conservatory, you find yourself at the start of the rock garden with Alpine Plants and the fairly new Davies Alpine House, which is the latest addition to Kew’s glasshouses. It opened in 2006, the first new glasshouse to be commissioned for two decades.

I was surprised to find not many Alpine Plants showing well though out the rock garden, so I spent most of my time in the Alpine House.

The Davis Greenhouse.
The Davis Greenhouse.

 

The following text is taken from the Kew Website.

“Although the glasshouse is only 16 metres (50 feet) long, its roof reaches ten metres (33 feet) high. This creates a stack effect that draws in cool air through permanent openings on either side and releases warm air through vents in the roof. Meanwhile, a fan blows air through a concrete labyrinth beneath the ground. The air cools on its convoluted journey and is released into the glasshouse through steel pipes. The panes of glass are 12mm thick and have a low iron content which allows over 90 per cent of light through. Meanwhile, fan-like shades on the east and west sides of the glasshouse protect plants from the most intense heat of the summer sun.”

Rock Garden, waiting to come to life.
Rock Garden, waiting to come to life.

Inside the Alpine House, there is a small planted section, and two areas where plants in pots are bought in whilst they look at their best.

Pots of Bulbs
Pots of Bulbs
Tropeaolum brachyceras from Chile.
Tropeaolum brachyceras from Chile.
Fritillaria pudica
Fritillaria pudica
A lovely little planted out area.
A lovely little planted out area.
Some plants planted, some plants plunged in pots.
Some plants planted, some plants plunged in pots.

 

Arisarum vulgare
Arisarum vulgare

After this greenhouse I headed off at a mean pace to what I consider to be Kew’s jewel in the crown, The Palm house.

The Palm House.
The Palm House.

The Palm House has 3 levels that you can walk on, ground level, a lower ground level where there are fish tanks, and an upper lever where you can walk around a walkway looking down on the plants.  As there were lots of kids in this Greenhouse, I decided to give the underground level a miss and stick to the planted areas.

Potted Palms.
Potted Palms.

I entered the Palm house at one end and left by the far end, the biggest section is in the middle.

Amazing Plants.
Amazing Plants.

 

A Spiral Staircase to the upper walkway.
A Spiral Staircase to the upper walkway.
Huge plants
Huge plants
View from the upper walkway back along the narrow section.
View from the upper walkway back along the narrow section.
Looking down from the roof.
Looking down from the roof.
Looking down still on huge palms.
Looking down still on huge palms.
View through the roof along the other narrow bit.
View through the roof along the other narrow bit.

 

Looking down.
Looking down.

Kew 11.4.13 196

This beast lives under the central dome of the Palm House. It's An Attelea.
This beast lives under the central dome of the Palm House. It’s An Attelea speciosa.

 

The far end of the Palm House has some Cycads in pots.

Kew 11.4.13 213

Then I found the doorway out into the fresh air.

Onto the next Glasshouse, The soon to be closed for renovated Temperate House.

Part 1: A Grand Day out at Kew Gardens.

Part 3: A Grand Day out at Kew Gardens.

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