Saturday, July 14, 2018

Kew and the re-opened Pagoda

Another early morning alarm (and I woke before it again)  and it was off to Kew...  the Pagoda re-opened yesterday although I hadn't booked a ticket (entry is time-slot controlled)...

 glorious blue skies again, and warming up already at 8am
 the begonias in the  urns lining the pond are so vibrant
you can see barriers lining the pond, that's because Kew the Music is on, a series of evening music concerts (I don't buy tickets, which sell out quickly as I don't fancy going on my own)
 - dark evenings and concert goers possibly fuelled with booze don't mix with water!!

 I headed down the Broad Walk as it is so pretty in the early sunlight

 blurred the purple scabious in the foreground to sow off the yellow behind
 scabious centre
the borders had already been watered before the sun gets too strong....  droplets sitting in the alchemilla mollis (Lady's Mantle)  like mercury.   always love this effect
 the cardoon (artichoke thistle) are such a gorgeous colour, and huge, towering above my head

I love these alliums! 

 I love agapanthus  (I love most things in the Broad Walk!)
 definitely love echinachea

 echinops.. you guessed it, love them

 outside the side of the POW
grasses near the alpine house

 grass garden.
 acid yellow in the rock garden

walked through to the family beds and the rose pergola...
even the roses that have finished are pretty!

 I don't know what this is, as I couldn't read the label and couldn't persuade the camera to focus on it either, but it was smothered in bees. 

 they were enjoying the hydrangeas too

 the phlox bed is full of colour
these look like little birds heads looking round to see what's going on... 
 walked round the pond for an early breakfast (only 9am )
 you can't get past them down the path now
 reflections in the water
 wide angle on,  you can see how parched the grass is - it will recover though, come the rain so Kew don't bother watering the grass, concentrating on the flowers
more echinachea

 after I'd eaten I headed to the Pagoda to see when they were opening - 10.30, so a while off still.   had a walk around the outside again

 peering upwards

 I must find out some information about it for you all...

walked through the Japanese garden past a pretty pink hydrangea

 Chokushi-Mon (the Gateway of the Imperial Messenger) - a 4/5 replica of one built for the Japanese-British exhibition of 1910 (good job I have a guidebook...)
 never really stop here, but I did today
 sorbus berries
 the Pagoda from the Japanese garden

as I approached the Temperate House, the sprinklers for the sloping grass (it's newly planted obviously for the restoration, so they ARE watering this area)  were going, and the steps are right next to this one...

walking up the steps to go inside, was FABULOUS ... I should have taken off my shoes and paddled on the steps, as there was enough gathering water...

 strangely, inside there were very few people yet... which was nice for my photos!

 up the stairs again

 I went and sat under the shade of this huge tree
for a while (the label says its a Catalpa) the flowers were pretty
 before going back to the Pagoda to find out about tickets (I don't have to pay, as I am a member of the Historic Royal Palaces which run it, the group that includes the Tower of London) 

Luckily, there was a slot available for 11 am so not long to wait...
 illustrations on the wall on the ground floor entrance...
 hopefully you may be able to read this..

 there are a couple of display cases to look at

time to start climbing the spiral staircase... all 253 stairs... each floor has a stop off point for viewing....

none of the windows open though for security purposes, they don't want visitors hanging out to take photos and falling out...
I only paused on floor 4 on the way up for a quick breather -

 at the top level we were treated to great views across Kew and into London

I stood still for a while so my knees could stop trembling fromthe climb!
 and around
 this direction was a bit overcast...

and it doesn't help that of course I am shooting through the windows so there are reflections too

 I changed lenses...
great view of the Temperate House

 it's quite small inside (hence the need to control the numbers at a time)
 looking down the stairs

 in this one you should be able to pick out the Shard, and  the Gherkin
 I started down the stairs again.  Decorative floor numbers to let you know how far you have to go!
 the Temperate House is the other side of these trees, hidden at a lower level now
 looking through the windows you can just glimpse the dragons from inside..

sat down on the only slightly still  damp (from the remains of the night's dew) grass to recover...

 I walked past one of the 100 species of holly in the gardens.. berries very green at the moment. 

 an another one

a glimpse of the Temperate House on my way to the Treetop Walkway...

wasn't sure if my legs would carry me up the stairs...

 so I was delighted that the lift was working!

I did walk down though

a temporary cloudscape!

 you feel very close to the planes heading for Heathrow!

I walked back down and went for another cool down standing by the sprinkler, and then sat outside the Temperate House

I could hear the music for Cirque Bijou, there was a different cellist today,

 and I stopped to watch,  but I am not sure if they were just practicing with the new cellist as it didn't seem as polished as usual...

 and the heat seems to have forced them to shed their normal costumes!

 so I left them to it and headed for the Palm House
 and the rose garden..

walking past the Parterre

 and paid a visit to the Princess of Wales glasshouse.

waterlillies in the rill outside

 lily pads growing large inside

pretty patterning

 and headed past the end of the Broad Walk

and home

stopping for a gorgeous ice cream to cool me on the way to the station

thanks for looking again