Saturday, February 4, 2017

Kew- Orchids Festival

Today sees the start of the month long Orchids Festival at Kew.  A wet start to the day but luckily the rain moved off.

 The theme this year, is India.  There are plaques up inside (which I will photograph next time) explaining how flowers and colours are used in India culture.  but for today, let's enjoy the flowers!
 just inside the Princess of Wales glasshouse, you are greeted by the first of several flower-strewn rickshaws - and an elephant,

which is largely airplants.  She (I think she has to be a she!) is gorgeous!

The Princess of Wales glasshouse is split into several different zones, each having a distinct feature.

into the tropical area, where they were just finishing spraying to increase humidity

You are greeted by a riot of colour and decorated carts

 the main display set in the small pond
 (change of lens to get closer!)
 gorgeous mix of white and orange, they've certainly got the feel of India

lots of hanging garlands too in this part
 close up of the top of the central display
 I love how they always mix bromeliads with the orchids for this annual display
it's not all orange -  bright magenta pink too
and climbing up some stairs you can see the airplants hanging, decorated with orchids
 time for some close up action!

 loved this one

 another rickshaw

 walking through into the arid zone, these aren't orchids, but so pretty!
 a floral peacock, very cleverly done

 one of several hanging displays with colourful banners in the colours of the Indian flag
 and a tiger
 back round to the pond, you can see all the garlands better here
 a last few close ups inside

 decorated floral garlands draping over the cart we saw at the beginning

so many colours of orchids!

and a floral Indian flag
 outside now, the rain has cleared and the sky is still grey, but the sun is trying to come out..
this witch hazel was fabulous, and smelled divine.
it's quite a large specimen!!
 the branches were all dripping from the earlier rain, I spent some time trying to get decent photos of raindrops on noses the edge of the branches (sorry, went all Sound of Music for a minute!)
 the dogwoods by the Palm House pond are still magnificent and underplanted with snowdrops which look fabulous now
spring is certainly on the way!
 as I walked past the Palm House end of the Broad Walk, I spied some colour and went to investigate - found these gorgeous pink Hellebores..

again, dripping with the raindrops from earlier...

 after a quick trip to the shop (didn't buy anything today) I went out the other way and towards the arboretum.  I wasn't straying far from the paths today due to the mud caused by the rain of the last few days, but I did venture towards this gorgeous branch, just love all the bright green mossy covering of the branch.
 into the Palm House and the ferns catching the sun through the window..

the bed by the Victoria Gate entrance is bursting into life, just love these  purple blue flowers, though I have forgotten what they were labelled...
 the name of this Dahurican Birch I did make note of though.   it was stunning!
 and more mossy stems
finally, on my way to see the exhibits for the International Photographer of the Year winners (being shown again at Kew for the tenth anniversary) I saw more growth, the magnolia buds all soft and fluffy - will be looking forward to them bursting into colour soon

Hope you are still with me and enjoyed the orchids - I will go again soon; they are there for a month if you want a visit.


craftimamma said...

So many stunning orchids Helen but my favourite was the really pretty flower that wasn't an orchid, lol! They are all breathtaking though.

The little purple ones are grape hyacinths...I have a few in my garden.

Thanks for sharing your fab photos again.
Lesley Xx

Claire said...

Hi Helen, fab photos as always! It all looks spectacular but I especially like the peacock and the Indian flag in flowers. Claire x

Miriam said...

Amazing photos Helen.... I love those orchids....and the elephant and peacock and amazing!

Chris Cresswell said...

Gosh, you did not fail us with these Helen! Where to start?? You should be entering that photography exhibition!!! I love your close ups of the orchids. Such a treat!! I always fall in love with them but can't keep one alive for long in the house!! I love the India display. The rickshaws are fabulous!! It really makes me want to visit!! I also like 'the raindrops on roses' comment lol. Found myself singing along. Thanks for sharing these. You can't help but feel joyful seeing these photos!

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Absolutely stunning. I love that really dark one that you loved .fantastic photos Helen. Tracy x

Angela Curror said...

Oh WOW! Absolutely gorgeous!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Your photos today are fabulous. Starting in the Princess of Wales glass house with the elephant, which I loved, by the way, and the rickshaws filled with gorgeous orchids you set the scene for some really lovely photos.

I adore the head dress on the elephant. It appears someone or several someones spent a lot of attention to detail.

I was mesmerized by the air plants with the orchids woven among them. Truly lovely.

I think I was most interested in the rickshaws and the carts. I guess that's where the displays seemed the most lovely and original.

The tiger was quite unique and unusual, but I still think the elephant is better represented.

I had NO idea that was the Indian flag. Lovely representation.

Enjoyed the palms in the Palm House and the grape hyacinths that were nearby. Yours are blooming much earlier than mine because mine are still stuck in the dirt and unwilling to show their foliage yet.

Oh, the texture you caught on the Dahurican Birch. I've never seen anything like it before. I just wanted to reach into the screen and touch it.

Thank you for taking us with you because your trips to Kew never fail to make me happy. Now if I just felt better, I might enjoy it even more!

Kirsten said...

Stunning photos as always. The orchids are so beautiful & the texture on the Dahurican birch is incredible.