22 March 2011

Kew Tropical Extravaganza 2011

I got to Kew's Tropical Extravaganza in its final days. The penultimate day, actually.

A prompt start got me to the gardens just as they opened at 9:30. The small queue looked just like you'd expect a queue for a gardens to look and I hope that I looked out of place there.

As with last year, flashing my annual membership card (what a good buy that was!) got me quick entry and I headed straight for the Princess of Wales Conservatory to see the orchids before the small children arrived, as they always do.

The centre piece of the conservatory is a water feature surrounded on all sides by plants, stuffed full with fish and encircled by concrete walkways and steps.

This was also the centre if the display with clumps of orchids colonising the water and, above them, more orchids sweeping down from the upper level. Colour was everywhere.

And colour is what orchids are all about.

That and shape.

A closer look at the flowers reveals the subtlety of the colours and the intricacy of the shapes.

The conservatory was getting busier by then but it was still quiet enough to be able to pick the best places to stand and to have the time to compose the shot.

Once again the Canon Ixus did all that was asked of it.

While I make no great claims of it as a machine or myself as its operator, I was very pleased with the sixty or so photos that eventually found their way on to Facebook. Of course there were also quite a few that got quietly ignored!

I'm not a great fan of the exterior of the Princess of Wales Conservatory but the interior just works thanks to its different sections, levels and paths connecting them.

And so going through a door always opens up new possibilities, new perspectives and new plants.

The cacti had retained their control of one end of the conservatory but the orchids had claimed the centre and the other ends which meant that there was plenty to see and enjoy.

I must have spent something like ninety leisurely minutes in there.

From there it was off to The Orangery for a coffee, a slice of Dundee cake and a short rest before heading back to the Victoria Gate via the Alpine House and the Rock Garden.

And so ended yet another successful visit to Kew and my first year of membership. I'll be renewing.

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