The Palm House, The Royal Botanical Gardens Kew
There is much more to Kew than the Palm House but I guess it was where most visitors made a bee line for. Understandably so, this is just one of the so called ‘Glass Palaces’ of Kew. Built in 1845 and restored in 1989 these wondrous glass house spans the ‘Rainforests’. Divided into 3 main sections you have Africa, the Americas and then Asia and the Australasia’s. Here is a taster of what you can see…but you have to be there to feel the real rainforest atmosphere….and thanks to a high level balcony you can walk the forest canopy….
On this brief tour lets now move onto the Waterlily House, original built in 1852 to house the Giant Amazonian Water Lily….
As well as a few of the Giant Lilies there are many more colour packed Lilies to feast your eyes upon…some brash others more delicate but all beautiful…
Next we enter one of the newer glasshouse, but in truth it replaces a number of original structures, they housed the original collections of Princess Augusta, Prince of Wales who founded the gardens and its collections. Known as The Princess of Wales Conservatory it was reopened in its new multilevel style in1987 by Diana, Princess of Wales….
Once inside you are taken through 10 different environments from Dessert to the wet Tropics…..
The ‘star’ in this display has to be the Lotus Flower in the Lily Lagoon…..
Such are the many different areas within Kew gardens that it is impossible to see and digest everything in one visit. Davies Alpine House is just one of several displays we had to miss on this trip…but if the dynamic exterior is any indicator the interior should be quite dramatic….
But Kew is also a vast Arboretum….a collection of Heritage and Ancient trees, over 14,000 I am told. I guess the best time to admire their full glory will be autumn ……..but for now and on a sunny day they are just the ideal spot to laze and read…
Kew is also home for many historic and iconic buildings. Kew Palace (1631) was originally known as the Dutch House built for a rich London Merchant. The Royal connection began with George ll leasing the house for his family…..
The Pagoda is another of Kew’s iconic ‘trade mark’ buildings, recently restored this 10 storey and 50meters high the Pagoda dates back to 1762………
For many it is the spectacular giant Temperate House they come to see. Well just at the moment (and for a few years to come) you are restricted to exterior views of the Worlds largest Victorian glass house…..4880 sq.meters….
Building was started in 1859 as space was running out for the tender exotic’s. It was renovated in 1980’s but is now about to undergo a major restoration project. At the moment they are removing for safe keeping the plant collections and preliminary work has started on the structure. This gives us a unique opportunity to experience the true scale and architecture of this unique building….
I hope these images and the slide show following gives you a taste of Kew. There is just too much to cover on one visit. The Botanist will love the museums, The Artist will love the Art Galleries, Wildlife lovers will love the wild walks and the wildlife whilst anyone will just love a pick-nick in the grounds….enjoy.
© David Oakes 2014