Saturday, October 19, 2013

Autumn at the Kew Gardens

DSC00745 (1300x973)Somehow, I’d never visited the Royal Botanical Gardens in many years of living in England.  But the day dawned warm, a friend living nearby invited me up, and we enjoyed a lovely day out together. 

The Kew Gardens lie just outside Richmond, Surry (near Heathrow): we had a quick lunch at (very busy) Whole Foods then a stroll out to the park entrance at Lions Gate.  This brings us into the south end, near the Japanese gardens and pavilions, and we worked our way north along the meandering paths and fall foliage to the special exhibits.

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It’d a bit reminiscent the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens, trees and lawns dotted with hothouses, but on a much larger scale.  There weren’t as many signs as is typical in British educational gardens (maybe visitors to Kew already know all the names) and a lot of the houses are closed for restoration.

I really liked the display of herbs laid out on a huge discovery table near the Palm House and the Tree Walks.

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The special exhibit of pumpkin and gourds against reflecting pools in the Water Lily house was very artistic and the huge willow-branch Circle of Fungi sculptures were fun (I still regret missing the Bouncy Carrot Tops, though).

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It was so good, in fact, that we completely missed the 6pm closing time and ended up having to lope the length of the DSC00770 (1300x975)park in gathering dusk to find the Victoria Gate, to only remaining way out.

A fun day, a good Persian dinner to cap things off, and an uneventful drive home before the thunderstorms blew in off the Channel.

More photos, as always, on my Flickr site.

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