Saturday, May 18, 2019

Kew - more Chihuly and alliums!

I woke ages before my early alarm call this morning, before 5 am so I was more than ready to head off to Kew again.  Mixed forecast but it turned out much nicer than it should have been.  Join me for another few hours meandering amongst the glass and flowers!

 there will be lots more of the alliums again this week! 

 the purple under-planting (ajuga I think) was absolutely thronging with bees (especially later on when I came back)

the urns on the edge of the pond have been emptied again already, no doubt with summer bedding planning

two swans swam serenely across the pond.. just about managed to get them both in shot without changing lenses

 the circular beds have already had their planting changed since last week, (they work hard here!)

the tulips have all gone
 all of a sudden there was loud thrumming sound..
the swans had taken off from the pond and
 I grabbed some shots, hoping for the best...
 as they flew past
I headed for the Broad Walk - looking magnificent!

 the lillies will be flowering soon
 allium time again

 not sure what this is, it was very tall

 it was lovely!

 headed up to the Hive past the wildflower meadow

I know now this is red campion (was paying attention on Gardeners World last night)

 bending down at the edge of the path,. a view down the hill of the meadow onto the Broad Walk below
 the mass of flowers around the side of the lower level of the Hive

 went down under the Hive, there was lots of bee activity, but they were moving fast!

 the big wisteria is nearly finished

 yellow iris in the rock garden

 there are so many levels to the rock garden

 sneaking a look at the work still going on on the new garden

 most of the peonies in this area are nearly finished but I saw plenty more elsewhere that are on the way!

 cutting back through the little woodland area towards the Palm House

 walked round the other side of the pond,
the giant gunnera are growing well although I think they've not grown so much in the last week as previous ones

 view of the alliums in the bed in front of the Palm House
Sapphire Star in the distance
 the grasses and wildflowers (or weeds if you prefer) are growing up where the tulips have faded in the path up to the Temperate House,  the red is the Cattails (Chihuli)  deliberately blurred
 heading up to the Japanese garden
 they really do look like marble!
 low lying azaleas

swathes of cow parsley

 I walked along past some fragrant plants (deutzia)

 and some rhododendrons

 and went up the Treetop Walkway, 

taking this one from above, below me
 can't tell what this is (thrush?)  but it was singing loudly
 masses of flowers on the sweet chestnuts

 from there I went to the lake

 loads of irises growing along the water's edge

 went round to the irises

 I put my camera bag on a bench to look at the swans,  and was immediately surrounded by several ducks/geese - expecting food

I often see a bloke here feeding them and the squirrels to get good photos - they obviously expect it.

anyhow, I was looking at the swans and the baby cygnets..
and dad, keeping guard close by

 mum moved a little and I could see the cygnets better - there are loads of them, it seems a very big brood!
 put a longer lens on...
 this was the mandarin duck (I think) expecting food
 and two or three of these
 love the reflection of the adult swan
 great pattern in the tree trunk
 I headed across the grass...

towards King William's Temple, time for some glass!

 past the cistus - smothered in flowers
 and bees!

 petal confetti on the grass
 trying for bee action... again they were moving fast and I was struggling to focus manually fast enough on macro

 the flowers on the Judas tree have finished (there were still lots there last week!)

 many shades of purple
 headed round the other side along the walk to the Temperate house - past this Japanese Dogwood

and the huge Chinese Fringe Tree

 I always forget what it's called, so have to walk under the canopy onto the bed to find the label on the trunk... there is nothing planted underneath it, so I am not damaging anything

and you get a great view through the branches as a result!

close up of the flowers

 into the Temperate House now (time check  - 10am!!)

that 2 hours went fast!

the sculpture hanging in the doorway

 can't help it, have to take more of it (well all of them)

 from the stairs up
down from the platform

 whilst I walked slowly along the platform I was listening to the robin (that seems to have moved in permanently) singing - the sound really reverberates around the TH....

eventually I saw it, on one of the roof joists

 these are growing round the stairs down...  the ones winding round the stairs are harder to capture (especially with people coming down behind me)

 patterns/reflections in the glass...
it makes it look really twisted!

love this shot, it looks like the blue is part of the same flower!

 I headed just across the grass to the newly refurbished Pavilion Restuarant, which re-opens today.

It concentrates on food mainly and it was a bit early for lunch so I had a quick look round and that was it
 planting outside

 headed back towards the gallery
 weeds in the grass by the "jelly"

 few more close ups of some of the exhibits

 I told you I find something different each time I look at them, hadn't noticed the colours in this stem before

 love how the light bounces off the curls

 ok, time for food... heading down the path back to the main entrance..

 this is the huge tree from last week covered in flowers (must be well over 15 feet )

would have to look back to remember what it is though...
 ok, after coffee and cake in the almost sun

it's allium time again

I really love them, can you tell...

kept missing the bees!

 I love how they get little spikes growing out of the top
 into the Waterlily house, this was growing just inside the doorway

 I think this is my favourite, somehow...

 twiddly vines hanging down around the pond
they're a ***** to photograph!

 the waterlilies are growing, this one will be above the surface soon

 there's another one at the back of the waterlily house... possibly some kind of passionflower??

will have to keep an eye on it see how far the flowers open

 love it with the yellow behind

I'm annoyed at this next one, it's not fully focussed but the only one I have, I love the purple in front of the yellow
so you get it anyway!

 something else new about to blossom

gorgeous pink

 outside just to the left of the waterlily house is a huge sweeping wisteria (the white ones seem a bit later than the purple ones)

I wish you could smell the fragrance!

It's been trained into a lovely shape...
(from the phone)

 I remembered to go and check the Children's Garden that opens today
I know I peeped over the gate last week, but hoped to get a look round..
 sadly, they were issuing timed ticketed entrances (possibly only for the first day I don't know) so I couldn't go and walk round and it was peep over the gate/hedge time again

 so I went and sat on the Broad Walk and looked at my book - I had bought a copy of the Chihuly at Kew that was in the shop today - pictures of all the exhibits, and some details about them.

 of course I took pics whilst I sat!
including this under the bench opposite mine

 more bee action (and failed bee action)

 as I hadn't been into the Princess of Wales glasshouse yet, I headed there.

past the gorgeous expanse of orange Californian poppies, looking fantastic

 I sat on the slightly damp grass to take some closeups

 the climate is mild enough for some outdoor cacti and palms

 finally tore myself inside!

I headed the other way round to my usual route

 strange looking part of this plant.. at the base
 I went down to the pond...

sloth still there, but no pics today

 jade vine

I walked round the upper part, and went back down to the bottom again where I'd started... good job, as there was a small crowd gazing.. that can only mean one thing!

 one of the small Chinese Water Dragons, sitting between two large leaves

 I stood there quite a while, telling people what it was, when they were going "is it real.  is it moving"  they all seemed as fascinated as me.

 cute little feet!

 it is perfectly camouflaged

 single drop of water
 acquilegia in the alpine house

 across the rock garden
 a flatter euphorbia to the ones in the Broad Walk
 love the colour clash

 at the edge of another pond of water lilies (none of them yet) but plenty of yellow irises and some cottontail something-or-other I can't remember it's name

 flowering house leek

 in the Secret Garden

gorgeous blue irises

 and deep purple ones


 walking along the path towards the exit, 

another fabulous white wisteria

 monkey puzzle

 walked across to Kew Palace - looks as if the laburnum arch is going over, so didn't go right up to the garden
 but I followed another path to the exit and found a ceanothus - I knew there had to be one at Kew somewhere! 
 it's one of my favourite shrubs I love the blue - this is quite a pale blue variety - I wish I had somewhere to grow one - they get big!!

wow, that's another marathon's taken two and a hours to upload the photos.....

not sure if I'll be going next week (WHAT!! well, maybe not Saturday, there's a craft show I may go to, so it might be Sunday instead)  and definitely won't the following weekend as it's the WOYWW crop.  That will be the first weekend I'll miss in well over 8 months...

Thanks for looking.