Monday, May 1, 2017

The delights of Kew at 8am

So today sees the start of Kew's Members early opening... until the end of September with a few exceptions they are opening the gates (well only the Victoria Gate) at 8am for members to come in early when it's nice and quiet... and hopefully dry.

Today, being a Bank Holiday here in the UK, and wonder of wonders, no engineering works on the route I take, I had a day free...and woke at stupid o'clock (5 am)  It had rained in the night.  The forecast was rain on and off... but hey, it's only water...

 I got there with a Danish pastry from the supermarket I pass en route, still hot from the oven.. was first through the gates (but about another 8-10 people close behind me)
 I decided to head for the Woodland Walk to see the bluebells again,  past lush green and beautiful pink
 and this large tree caught my eye...
 close up a lot of the blooms are in reality past their best,
 but the Judas Tree, for that is what it was, is gorgeous - and I loved the mess of trunks at ground level!

 walked past the Treetop walkway..
 and these seem even taller than last week

 the light is gorgeous so early in the morning, and it was so peaceful - there was birdsong all around... I even unplugged my radio!
 the bluebells in the Woodland Walk didn't disappoint..

 and I spied several birdboxes

 on the way back to the entrance, and the cafe I passed a doorway I've never really looked at before - or seen the horse on top!
 sat outside with coffee and a muffin...
the clouds are building... but it was warm in the sunshine..

 the alliums in the Palm House beds are much further into flower...

 got low down again...

the Broad Walk in the sunshine - acid green euphorbia and more alliums - gorgeous contrast
 and raindrops on tulips - from last night, not today (yet)
 love the contrast of the soft frilly white and the satin-like red tulip petals

looking down the Broad Walk

 it was just ten now, so open to the general public, I headed for the Hive past this beauty of a tree

and this magnificent wisteria
 which grows in a circle, it's huge
you can step inside (it's paved, so it's allowed) to see through to the Princess of Wales glasshouse (next stop)

 you can see how big it is seen from the POW glasshouse
 Wildflower meadow growing up round the Hive

 big bubbles at the foot of a waterfall outside the POW house
 ferns growing on a rock

Love this fern unfurling

 lens kept misting up...

 outside again now, I was headed for where I could hear the peacock calling again.

these are huge!

 there he was - no sunbathing today, (no sun, and the grass was wet!)
 but he was calling for his mate and putting on a great display...

 in the Alpine house...

 gorgeous blossom on a big tree outside - it had started raining now, time to head home!
one last look back at the huge tree that blossom is on..

had to shelter at the exit for the downpour to stop, then dashed for the station although I was lucky to get home before it rained again.

Hope you enjoyed today again, it was fabulous!!
worth getting up so early for on a Bank Holiday!


sam21ski said...

Can't believe how much purple there is there. Glad the weather stayed good for you xx

Angela Curror said...

Absolutely stunning!

craftimamma said...

Oh wow Helen, some absolutely stunning shots in this post. My favourite has to be the amazing tree covered in beautiful mauve blossom. It's breathtaking! Your pic of the Judas tree brought back a lovely memory of mine and Hubby's trip to the Grand Canyon several years ago. We have a photo somewhere that someone took of us standing in front of a Judas tree right on the edge of the canyon.

Thanks for sharing such beautiful photos again.

Lesley Xx

Miriam said...

Stunning photographs looked amazing!

Chris Cresswell said...

Always such a treat to take time to look through your photos Helen. Gosh, the colours are breathtaking. Love the bluebells. And swathes of them. The deep reds of those tulips are wonderful too. I love how you caught the bubbles on top of the water. Then that splendid peacock display. I'm certainly getting very familiar with Kew through your wonderful photos.

Neet said...

What a treat. A feast for the eyes. Love all of your photos but the first few with that lush green held me transfixed for a moment.
Thank you for sharing so much of Kew. To see it through the lens of Helen is pure joy. Thank you.
Hugs, Neet xx
ps too many to comment on but I did love the rain on tulips - you should make calendars with your photos.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

So that gnarled tree is a Judas tree. It's actually beautiful in its structure.

So glad they started the early morning entries again this year. You always seem to catch the best shots during those first two hours.

It won't be long until the bird boxes will be hidden from view because of the foliage, but for now, it was a treat to see them through your lens.

LOVE the bee and bug house Kew made. Someone is very creative with a drill.

The bluebells were stunning and appeared to be everywhere. And that horse on the top of the doorway was certainly photo worthy.

Yes, I really enjoyed your latest visit to Kew. You got a TON of photos in a little over two hours. So glad for these early hours again.