Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.
I visited Kew Gardens, as it is commonly known, for the first time yesterday. What a day it was. The weather was beautiful and the gardens stunning with so much to see. You would certainly need a full day here to see everything, and even then another visit might be needed to really see it all.
Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was founded in 1840. It houses thousands of different species of plants, trees and flowers from all around the world, some of which are endangered. It is a beautiful peaceful and intriguing place to visit, and yesterday, with the gorgeous weather, people took the opportunity to relax in the gardens and enjoy their surroundings. Here are some photographs that I took on my visit:
This was taken inside the Temperate house. It is so light and airy in here, and has to be one of the most amazing buildings I have ever been inside. This is a Grade 1 listed building first opened in 1862 made of wrought iron and glass and has recently been refurbished and is absoloutely stunning. This huge glass house is made up of a rectangular glass house flanked on either side by attached octagonal glass houses. There are spiral staircases in the main building leading up to to a walk way that provides views over the various plants and flowers (as can be seen in the photo). In this glass house, you can watch performers and musicians - when we were here there was a solitary trapeze artist followed by a cellist to further entertain the visitors. This was one of my favourite places to visit at Kew.
This is one of the Victorian spiral staircases in the main glass house of the Temperate House. They don't seem to make things like this anymore. The workmanship is beautiful. This leads up to the walk ways above.
One of the flowers in one of the Octagonal parts of the Temperate House.
Another of these flowers in the Temperate house. The good weather provided lovely lighting coming through the glass and seems to accentuate this flowers simplicity and beauty in my opinion.
More flowers in the Temperate House.
I am not sure what this flower is but I have seen similar at Hampton Court Castle in Herefordshire. This was taken in the Temperate House.
At a guess, I would say this flower is an Iris or part of the Iris family - but I could be completely wrong. This was also taken in the Temperate House.
More flowers in the Temperate House.
Here you can see some of the architecture and the plants in the Temperate house.
Geese family having a swim at the lake. There are lots of geese, ducks and birds here.
The Sackler crossing bridge. This was opened in 2006 and is made of granite and bronze. When you get up close to this bridge the railings are made of single bronze posts - which, whilst beautiful, I would be concerned about small children actually getting through this and falling into the lake. I am possibly being overly cautious, but as a trained nurse I think that is in my nature.
One of the beautiful vistas looking towards the Palm House.
This tree looks so old and almost dead, but also as if it has just come back to life.
The Palm house. One of the largest of its kind, it was opened in about 1840 having been designed by Decimus Burton and Nicole Burton. It is also made of wrought iron and glass. It houses many palms from all over the world.
Inside the palm house. Here you can see another beautiful Victorian spiral stair case.
The mist you can see in this photo are created by the spraying of the palms with water.
Another view of the Victorian spiral stair case.
I'm not sure about this building. I think it's a cafe and teaching facility, particularly for school children.
This tower is situated near the Victoria gate entrance to the gardens. I am not sure of it's history or what it is for.
There is so much more here to see that we didn't see, and will entail a return trip. If you are thinking of going yourself, I would advise you to try to get there at opening time which is about 10am. Other things to see here, which we didn't, are Queen Charlottes cottage, The tree top walk, The Marriane North gallery, Shirley Sherwood gallery, Kew Palace, Japanese gateway and lots more. This means another trip back next year, when, hopefully, the weather will be just as good.