27 October 2013

Kew Gardens Autumn colours and pumpkins (October 2013)

A bright sunny morning was all the encouragement that I needed to pay another visit to Kew Gardens. The other reason for going was that a major storm was predicted for the next day and I wanted to see the gardens before the possibility of serious damage.

The main lure this time was the autumnal colours so I went in at the Lion Gate (south-east corner) because there are lots of trees there. The trees did not really do as they were told and many were either still stubbornly green or had capitulated and given all their leaves up already.

There were a few of the hoped for reds and yellows and I walked from one to the other as I vaguely headed towards the lake.

I crossed the Pagoda Vista on the way. There are several such vistas in Kew Gardens and I like to cross them rather than use them. The best bits of Kew are the quieter bits and that means keeping off the main paths when I can.

On the right is the Temperate House which is now closed for several years for refurbishment. It is missed.

The lake was in fine form making the most of the clear Autumn sunshine. I walked across the top of it (i.e. the end by the river) as I usually do as I prefer the planting at that end and it also gives me views like this back down the lake.

Next I crossed Syon Vista, this is the longest vista in the gardens, running from the Palm House to the river. Viewing the picture at 100% zoom reveals the Palm House in the little gap between the trees. It also shows the group of geese on the right feasting on the grass. They are always there.

The Waterlily House was the big surprise.

The waterlilies had gone to be replaced by  pumpkins. Lots of pumpkins. Lots of different kinds of pumpkins. Kinds of pumpkins that I did not know existed.

Kew Gardens is always good at showing the variety that exists in the plant world, that is one of the many things that I like about it, and it was a delight to see so many different pumpkins.

Kew Gardens also teaches and there were explanations of where each type is found and of the characteristics that defined the species.

Kew Gardens also caters for children and with pumpkins that means carving. My favourite was this one with one pumpkin eating another.

I made one final detour before leaving through the Elizabeth Gate and that was to the Joseph Banks Building and the lake that it sits on. These are somewhat hidden from the main path by trees and bushes so they are easily missed. Which is a shame because it is a nice spot.

I have been to Kew Gardens many times and it still manages to delight and surprise  on every visit. That's why I am a member.

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