28 December 2012

Kew Gardens for the last time in 2012

According to my records, i.e. this blog, this was my ninth visit to Kew Gardens in 2012 so I am still getting my money's worth from my annual membership.

It is always an easy decision to make to go to Kew Gardens and a much harden one to decide what to do once I get there.

To ring the changes a little I went in at the main gates, now called Elizabeth Gate, off Kew Green and headed for the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

The Orchid Festival starts there in about a month's time but some of the plants were impatient and were already in flower.

The Christmas Holiday drove many families into Kew Gardens and the bad weather pushed them in to the Conservatory so my time there was shorter than I planed. I wanted some peace and the chance to take lots of pictures but this was more like the January sales in a toy shop.

I did not abandon the Conservatory completely and I walked all the way through it pausing by the pond as I did so to take this picture with only a few children in it.

My hasty departure was not so hasty that I missed what they have done to the cacti and succulents at the cooler southern end.

The area has been cleaned out and rearranged as a dry river bed with the cacti and succulents facing off against each other.

This zone looked bit of a mess before and this is a marked improvement.

From there I headed towards the Palm House but, fearing the crowds, I walked around it rather than venture in. With the heavy grey sky behind and seen from this angle, the Palm House adopted an industrial style that is befitting for a machine designed to grow exotic plants.

Leaving the Palm House behind also meant leaving most of the people behind too and I just had trees for company. And that is just what I wanted.

From there I could stretch my legs with some gusto which took me through the Bamboo Garden and the Minka House, around the top of the lake, past the peacocks and back to Victoria Gate.

I tend to walk a reasonable distance when I go to Kew Gardens so I bump in to the Lake regularly and walking around different sections of it always provides something interesting to look at and all the ducks and geese there make this a lively part of the garden.

It was a bleak day and there was little colour to lift the spirits and still Kew Garden worked its magic with its space, variety and touches of the exotic.

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