Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back to Kew - 22nd May

Well, once again I went to Kew yesterday - beautiful sunshine, lots of people but I was there as they opened as usual so managed to find some quiet spots with not a soul in sight.

However, there was a part-finished film in my camera from the last time I went, 3 weeks ago, and I can't resist showing you some of those photos cos there are some stunning trees full of blossom:
and some more stunning bedding displays.
So, on to yesterday. The azaleas were looking great in the early morning sun, and the smell was incredible.
I have mentioned before how much I love the architecture at Kew - this is the Temperate House. It looks so much cleaner and brighter - not sure if they have had the brushes and mops out, or if it's the sun!
I approached the Palm House from the back this week, and the sun was shining through the building, looking glorious.  I waited for someone who was walking round the top observation level (inside), to get out of the way, but kind of wish I'd taken one now!
I love how you can see so many of the plants from the outside!

This is me, taking my reflection picture, you can see right through to the other side of the Palm House and "my" fountain!
Inside the Palm House, shooting up into the roof, through the giant palms - just gorgeous!

They really are BIG plants in here!! Next week, Kew's summer programme of events starts and they're concentrating on Biodiversity this year, the Palm House will have the sounds of the jungle playing amongst the plants!  Should be good.

After a sit down in the shade of a big tree, when I treated myself to a bottle of cold water and a rather scrummy blueberry muffin (!) which a robin wanted to share with me, hopping right up onto the table (sadly my camera was out of reach on the floor at the time and I couldn't get to it without startling him!) I went round to the other side of the lake outside the Palm House, where a swan is nesting with her cygnets (Dad was standing guard just out of camera!)

As they have a lot of students at Kew taking all kinds of horticultural qualifications, they have a large area of "practice beds" and these stunning peonies were in some of those.
Wild flower area around the Temple of Aeolus where a few weeks ago there were hundreds of daffodils - So wispy and frothy (much more so in the flesh!)  They were waist high!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed another day out at Kew - join me again some time!!
I have had a devil of a job with blogger - it kept putting the photos where I didn't want them!! Hope there aren't too many huges gaps between them all.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bank Holiday Saturday - Kew again

I wanted to try and catch the bluebells again this year at Kew and have been keeping an eye on the Kew website (they do a spring bulb/blossom update) to make sure I try and catch the peak! 

The weather forecast for Saturday here in London was poor - but when I woke up it was fine, albeit cloudy - so I took a chance.  My normal quick train route was hampered by engineering works so took longer than normal with a replacement bus for half of the journey to Clapham Junction, but I still managed to get there for the 9.30 opening!!  (I do wake up early,even on my days off...)

So here are some of the best of the pictures I took yesterday (thanks to Jessops for getting them developed and printed/copied to cd early today so I won't miss the footie!!)

These tulips are just inside the entrance.
The lilacs are coming into bloom too.
On my way to the conservation area where the bluebells flourish, I passed this little patch under a tree in the shade, just before the Treetop walkway.

I love this - it's only been open a couple of years, but its blended right in to the scenery.  It's a shame they still haven't got the lift sorted, cos the stairs up to the top (its only 18 metres, but...) are hard going. (could be that I never stop to eat breakfast before going out, so I'm always hungry and low on sugar!)
BUT it is so worth it, on clear days you can see for miles, and the views over Kew are fantastic.
I can play at being artistic, framing my shots with the trees in the foreground!  This is the evolution house (front) and the Temperate House behind. Even yesterday when it was still quite cloudy, the view was good - the range of greens is just stunning!
These Canada geese wanted to come for a look too!
Then it was on to the bluebells!  Kew is trying to encourage the native English species.
I love the walk through the conservation area at this time of year.
Queen Charlotte's Cottage - looks like Hansel and Gretel should be in the garden, doesn't it!  The cottage was given to Queen Charlotte when she married King George III.
I love the acid green of these flowers (I wish  I knew what they are!) against the blue of the bluebells, and the way they leave fallen trees where they lie, for the wildlife.

This one shows the contrast of the colours better.
I only discovered this little pond the last time I visited, I love that about Kew, how you find new things even after you've been going for years!  The refelctions looked good yesterday - the sun had come out by now, and it was a glorious morning - I ended up carrying my coat as well as my camera gear!  (It didn't rain till I was back on the replacement bus on the way home, although I think it's rained ever since...)

The gunnera in the foreground at the waterside will be huge in a few weeks and it will look totally different. I'll have to see if I can find it again.
Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed your trip with me!  There won't be any more next week as it's the stamp show at Worthing (i.e. spending more money!!)  See you soon.