31 October 2008

Exploring Kew Gardens

I really should go to Kew Gardens more often than I do (I can get there in about 20 minutes on the 65 bus, which goes more or less door-to-door) but I did manage to get there during my recent week off to take advantage of some October sun.

A new attraction this year is the Treetop Walkway that spirals up to the tree tops then passes through them to give you a perspective on large trees that you do not normally get.

The structure is very impressive but it sways noticeably at the top and, as you can tell from the photo, the flooring is a mesh that you can see through. Not the best place to be if, like me, you have issues with heights :-(

Back on the ground, my favourite part of Kew is the greenhouses. This is because they are full of large and exotic plants which are shown off against a background of decorative white steel.

There are three main greenhouses and two of these have galleries which, like the Treetop Walkway, allow you get right up close to the tops of the plants.

They also allow you to get up close to the stunning roofs to appreciate the effort that was spent on the appearance of a strictly functional building.

But the main reason for going to Kew is for the gardens and there are lots of different ones. There are always parts of the gardens that are in season so Kew is worth visiting any time and it is only closed for two days a year!

The size of the garden also means that you are unlikely to see all of it in a single visit anyway!

This time I spent most of my time in the corner of the gardens that includes the aquatic, grass and alpine gardens. Not being much of a gardener myself, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many plants in flower at this time of the year.

It proved to be a good afternoon out and it convinced me to go back there more often.

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