Saturday, October 13, 2018

More like summer than autumn - a long visit at Kew

well, lots of the UK are suffering torrential rain but here in the South, and London we've had an autumn day that felt like summer - with a lovely strong breeze thrown in.
I woke to a glorious sunrise

 there was a large group at the gates just before 10 when I got there.
headed for my starting view - 
told you the beds wouldn't be empty for long.

winter bedding going in
whilst I was taking my starting shot I caught sight of a brightly coloured tree by the rose garden..

 there was a large crowd round this tree, understandably.

it is stunning

(fyi it's a Cotinus Obovatus and is native of the S.E. states according to the label)

every year it seems to get better

 I took a mammoth number of photos today so I am going to try and not overload you....
much as I would like to!

 the sun was warm and the breeze blew the branches about a lot. but everything just shone

 this is such a beautiful vista
I spent some time scuffling through the leaves like a big kid.... rustly, crinkly and importantly, dry.   great fun

 the maples are looking fantastic...

so many different colours

 took a quick look round the Oak Trees from the new exhibition.

Lots of people looking at them, and it's hard to capture without reflections of lights and things...

back outside.  more colour!

 the Pavilion Restaurant behind the hoardings is getting a makeover and will re-open in Spring.
looking forward to that, it was always one of my favourites.

love it's setting in amongst the trees.

 more crocus nestling in leaf litter...

these pods are so funny looking, like mouldy bananas.

it's a honey locust tree

 there are several varieties, but they all have these huge pods filling the trees
 I continued the walk up towards....
 the Pagoda.

it will close for the winter in a few weeks, so I decided to take a walk up to see the colour

 positioned myself so the leaves framed the Pagoda

 the greens look so vibrant still in the sunshine

 whilst I waited for my 11.30 slot, I enjoyed the views

 then it was time to climb the 253 steps...
but it is always worth it

the windows don't open ( security, they can't have  people falling out) so there are lots of reflections
 but you can see for miles across London in every direction
 the City, with the Shard and other well known landmarks

 you really get an idea of the changing seasons

 the Temperate House

the Japanese garden

 as I walked back down I stopped at different floors for a lower viewpoint
 great shadow of the Pagoda
 back down on the ground, I took a different vista to walk towards the Temperate House

 trees full of berries.

liquid amber tree. 

 the sun was beautiful through this tree, I got very carried away..

more berries

some are prunus, some sorbus,
not sure which!

 eventually I tore myself away from the liquidamber tree

loved these pink ones

the purpley-black ones were surrounded by a kind of fluffy white substance...

 these are definitely sorbus (rowan)

 the large groups of fungus are still there, some of it is decaying now, but it's still strangely attractive

 finally made it to the Temperate House!

 lots of different things in flower now

 the big tubs of daisies in one of the connecting hexagons are wonderful,

 climbed up some more steps!!
at least there's only about 40 here.

looking down on the waterfall
 winding round the steps on the downward stairs...
 couldn't see a label... loved it..

soft looking, fluffy, purple.. what is there not to like!

 these were teeny little flowers

Pirri-Pirri Bur variety of Acaena
never heard of it, but it's cute

 finger as guide

 love tree ferns
the coleus are flowering

 back outside, I could see blue in the flower bed.

Dead Man's Fingers!

 the Sea Buckthorn still has lots of berries
 more funghi

 growing in a crook in a branch even

nearly back at the cafe, still  a big crowd looking at this.

I happened to turn and saw the green in front, with the sun shining through it's leaves.   beautiful

 still looking glorious, though not wet like last week

I think it might be berberis.

 grabbed some food, there were no tables outside and it was too nice to sit inside, so I sat on a brick wall.  It was very windy though so everything kept flying around. 

lunch... on the wall!

 took loads of pics of these, but seems only one in focus!

such a gorgeous sky.

Middle of October, remember!

 the salvias are still looking great

further along the path - stunning acer

 fringy leaves

dancing in the windy sunshine

 in the Princess of Wales glasshouse,

passion flower

never seen these large pod-like things on a passion flower though (this big anyway)

I went in search of the Chinese water dragon.....

 and found one!  a group of people were standing watching.

 all of a sudden, it jumped - flopped - into the water and then climbed out again
this was from my phone which was in my hand when it was in the water, rather than the camera

As I stood up, a young boy moved too, and I saw......
 a baby one!!

I crouched down again!

 it kept eating bits of the grub that you can see... which was still alive, it kept moving!

it was fascinating.
 beautiful markings on it's tail

adult one again

 along the Broad Walk - can you believe how long it's taken today to get down the Broad Walk!!

the grasses were waving in the wind

 they look like they're cuddling!

I decided to take a last walk towards the lake before heading home...

 the rose garden is still fabulous!

 once I got to the lake, there were loads of people watching the ducks and geese on the water...
but I thought maybe I'd missed the best of the reflections...

 the large tree on the island in the lake
 no, maybe I hadn't....


 having crossed the lake I walked round to the top (or possibly bottom, having read the Kew magazine last week)

 there were reflections a-plenty here and loads of people enjoying the gorgeous day.

 a small group of people were swan-watching

 the bright light almost silhouettes the lake

at the foot of a tree near the swans, I saw this clump of funghi

 well worth going to the lake for my last walk of the day

 back down the Broad Walk, and home.

4pm now - I never say this long -

 the last of the rudbeckia still looking good,
with the grasses behind

as I left, a wedding party was gathering outside the Nash Conservatory, no sign of the bride yet or I'd have been tempted to take some pictures!

 the sun was still bright, but with a hint of 'it's nearly time to set' about it.

would be lovely to see it but I was tired after 6 hours and nearly 700 photos....(as I found out when I got home)

 beautiful even not setting though

phone version

and my final picture, at home, some pretty clouds!

thank you so much for sticking with me, I think I've done well pruning out so many of today's photos, there were loads more I'd have included but in the interest of "brevity" I have left them out...


craftimamma said...

Well, what a fabulous day you had of the weather Helen, much better than we in the Midlands did till the afternoon at least. Your photos have benefitted from the glorious sunshine and blue skies showcasing the trees in all their Autumn splendour. You get double the glory in the stunning lake reflections too. Fabulous shots of the dragons today, they are beauties! I was surprised to see so much flower colour still too and I love those lilac beady things at the end of your visit and the fluffy grasses are some of my favourites too. Btw we used to have a passion flower under the kitchen window at our previous house and that had quite a lot of those pod things on one year. I can't remember what happened to them though, lol!

Well done for making it to the top of the pagoda to take those super shots. The variety of colour is truly amazing. Thanks once again for a wonderful visit. No wonder you were pooped when you got home.

Lesley Xx

jinxxxygirl said...

A baby Water Dragon!!!!! Oh how wonderful Helen!!!! He posed very nicely and you took some wondeful shots!! What a beautiful Fall you are having... The leaves don't turn much around here... (Arkansas) just fall off..and many are falling.. We very quickly have gone from Summer (hot and muggy) to cooling off... Will no doubt turn the heat on for the first time this week..

That 'pod' on the passion flower vine is passion fruit and i believe edible when ripe.. Thanks for the trip around Kew ! Hugs! deb

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I have been here well over an hour, studying each photo. I couldn't believe all the photos today, but they were all fabulous and frame worthy.

Wow, those beds went in fast, didn't they? Looks like they left the flowers in the urns, though. So glad you took a photo of those.

This time I didn't take notes, but will comment on ONLY the things that stuck out to me. The first of course, is how autumnal Kew is looking. So many reds, oranges, yellows, and a few greens that caught my eye, mixed in with less lavender that I normally see in your photos.

I was taken by the beautiful shots from and around the Pagoda. The view of the Japanese Garden was wonderful, the view of the London skyline was mesmerizing, and the view down the green that approaches the Pagoda was filled with beauty and color. The way Kew is laid out, with so many trees between the Houses struck me, too. It's so impressive to see the various gardens and Houses from that view. I couldn't get enough of these images that put a LOT into perspective for me. I'm glad you climbed those 253 steps and shared this fabulous scenery, which is SO different from the Treetop Walkway views.

Interesting lunch. Loved the sign, and the tray was gorgeous, too. I'm THRILLED you showed this, since I'd never seen one before.

LOVED photos of the Chinese water dragon and its baby. Those were also quite mesmerizing, and it made the POW House even more special today. The lake was lovely, and I was SO surprised you got so many people in the photos. It must have been the last hurrah before cold weather sets in there.

Amazing views of the sun over the Thames. I can't believe the difference between your phone and camera. It was good to see the same view from both. And of course, I loved seeing the clouds when you arrived home. Gives me another sense of where you live.

THANK you for these wonderful photos today. They are captivating and kept me occupied for far too long here, dear friend. But I enjoyed each and every one of them.

Sue said...

Hi Helen, Just popped over from your WOYWW.

Fantastic photos. Thanks for sharing. Sue