16 February 2014

There is always plenty to see at Kew Gardens

The main purpose of my visit to Kew Gardens was to see the orchids display in the Princess of Wales Conservatory but, as with every visit I make to Kew, I did some walking around and took in some more of the sights.

I have been to Kew Gardens something like forty times (so my phone tells me) so it is always a surprise when I venture somewhere new there and I managed to that this time.

I had never walked around the west side of the Princess of Wales Conservatory before.

There is not that much planting in the area to see, apparently there is a Winter Garden but I failed to find that, and so it is the building that attracted most of my attention. The shape of the Conservatory is nicely weird and this is enhanced by the paving around it that also varies in height to create interesting spaces.

I then went to one of my favourite places nearby, the Aquatic Garden in the north-east corner of Kew. As with the Conservatory is was the structure rather than the things growing in it that I was attracted to.

Here it is the first in a line of unusual structures that include the Alpine House as well as the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

From there it was but a short step to the Plant Family Beds and the Rose Pergola.

The Pergola was looking rather bare without the roses in bloom and so it also relied on its structure for its beauty. I especially liked the way the the brick pillars were decorated with tiles in the corners as if making steps.

The Plant Family Beds are always worth seeing as there is always something going on there with different plants enjoying different times of the year.

They also serve as a reminder that Kew is a working garden and its pleasurable aspects are there to support its serious work.

The final part of my short journey through one corner of Kew Gardens took me through the Woodland Garden.

Here, despite being mid-February, flowers were out in abundance and they were also making the most of a fine day.

The north-east corner of Kew Gardens is the part most packed with different things to see and there is more to it than I covered on this little walk.

In other parts of the garden, especially the large wooded areas in the south and west, there are just a few different things, such as the Minka House, to provide a sudden change of scenery whereas this corner is packed with little gardens and features.

It this variety that makes the usual walk back from coffee at the Orangery to the 65 bus stop outside of Victoria Gate so interesting, as long as you avoid the main path that takes you directly there.

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