17 March 2013
Kew Gardens Again (March 2013)
The aim was to keep moving to keep warm and exercised and not to linger too long in any one place so while I still took quite a few photos, 44, that was much less than usual and they were snatched with little effort spent on composing them. To compose was to freeze.
I went in through the Lion Gate, i.e. the first one that you come to on the bus from Richmond, as that gives the best options for walking. The Pagoda waits just inside the gate and points the way along two avenues, one leads to the Palm House and the other to the end of the lake and then the river. That's the path that I took.
That section of Kew Gardens is mostly woodland and that provides some shelter for the small delicate flowers that barely stuck their heads above the fallen leaves.
The colours there came in small doses and I was hoping for a little more from the rhododendrons. These are collected near the river just beyond the lake in a little dip that delights in the evocative named Rhododendron Dell. My optimism proved to be largely unwarranted and there were only one of two bushes in any sort of flower.
Luckily I only needed one or two in bloom to justify making that my destination and to capture a reasonable photo of one. Yes the flower is lovely but it is the dark green of the leaves setting it off that I like.
Even the heron on the far side looked bored with it all, but then they always do.
The rhododendrons meant that the visit was mission accomplished so it was just a matter of deciding which gate to head for, there is quite a choice at that point. I chose Victoria Gate as that seemed to be the quickest way to a bus stop and warmth. The Palm House was in the way and it never fails to impress despite the dozens of times that I've walked past and through it.
The Parterre in front of the Palm House was a shock of colour after an hour or so desperately seeking anything in bloom in the rest of the gardens.
So there you have it, a cold grey day with almost no flowers out and still Kew Gardens provided plenty to look at. And, of course, the space to walk for an hour or so.
Every visit to Kew Gardens is different and that's why I keep going.
It would be nice to see a few more flowers next time though the current cold spell suggests that may be unlikely. We'll see.