Kew Gardens

We have never been to Kew Gardens, we’ve meant to we just never got there, so last week we rectified that with…

Kew Gardens Present The Japanese Autumn Festival – here’s what we found.

On a glorious Wednesday we headed across London towards Richmond – because Google was adamant that we should go to Richmond and not Kew Gardens (which it turns out is wrong, go to Kew Gardens Train station for Kew Gardens, not Richmond, Stupid Google!)

We entered at the little Lion’s Gate and started to wander near the pagoda, but decided to leave that till last. Instead we headed to the Temperate House, a wonderful wrought iron greenhouse filled with lovely lush plants and flowers that need a little extra attention and warmth – much like Bob!

The Japanese Exhibition was taking place here, yet the first thing you see when entering is a sign stating AFRICA.

The Japanese part – the 1,000 springs by Chiharu Shiota is only in the centre, where 5,000 haiku poems are entangled in a web of red strings, suspended above the plants in the high dome of the greenhouse, it’s pretty, but not an amazing sight. The circle of Chrysanthemums of the Kiku Matsuri Festival is more impressive.

We left the Temperate House and meandered along the Cherry Walk towards the Mediterranean Gardens and through some lovely parkland, before heading to the Palm House.

We would love to see Cherry walk in all its beauty sometime next Spring – stay tuned.

Palm House – This really was our personal lizard’s idea of heaven, a dramatic difference of hot air hit us as we entered through steamed up windows, to come face to face with reef palms and other giant flora in need of more than a little extra warmth to function, Much like Bob

There was (for a time) a mass of school kids all in search of ‘Other Harry’, all yelling for him, we figure they found the other Harry, because they soon left and we walked the aisles looking at the giant leaves and developed trunks, finding Bananas and Star Fruit Plants, as well as the oldest potted plant in the world.

This was a lovely place with sensible temperatures and some wonderful oversized plants – Ash has a real love of Reef Palms and anything that isn’t green and there were some very un-green specimens.

The cold however really hit us as we left the giant greenhouse in the centre of the park, but we mustered our courage and headed briefly to the Waterlily House, possibly a degree or two hotter than the last and a great structure filled with a giant pool of massive Lily Pads and Monkey Jars, along with a mass of tropical inhabitants.

Next we stopped for a rest bite – a sandwich and to say hello to the resident Carps population in the central lake. They are very friendly and like having their backs stroked!

We actually spotted a fair amount of animals during our tour of the Gardens, including a flock of Canada Geese, many duck in the great lake, a mass of Parrots that serenaded us all around and a wonderful Peacock, but we will come to him soon.

So we headed into the English garden and the Fruit and Veg. At the end of these allotments there is a Bonsai House oddly placed with multiple variations and colors but easily missed unless looking.

We proceeded on to the rock garden then skirted the edge of the Prince Charles something or other and went to the Giant Hive.

The Hive was a giant structure mimicking a Beehive, you can step inside and hear music resinating at the same frequency of bee’s.

Then in typical Climbing Moss fashion we went to go and get coffee because who can do all that walking without caffeine?

Then we took a walk to the pond and on through the picturesque woodland walk.

Then onto the pagoda – in all this splendor where a beautiful Peacock was wandering around the base.

The signage is a little hard to follow as the map seems to show a massive park – which in reality is half the size – I mean the park is huge its just not at massive as the map looks. However the map proved invaluable and a lot of other places should take some notes.

Once we had taken some photos we moved on to a little hut – Queen Charlottes Cottage – It looked much like what I would imagine the Witch is Hansel and Gretel home to look like. However shortly after we got there the tannoy alerted us that the park was closing and everyone had to evacuate.

We wandered lost for a while and finally found the exit and made the much shorter walk to Kew Gardens Silverlink.

All in all it was a pretty nice day out and we will be going back in summer/spring where some of the flowers may be in bloom.

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