Saturday, January 26, 2019

Kew - more dragons than ever

I had another lovely trip to Kew today, still quite grey but not as cold as it's been recently. 
 I was a little early so stopped to take a couple of photos of the gravestones in the churchyard on my way round to the entrance at Kew...

gotta love a gravestone. 

 once the doors opened I took my normal first shot.  still can't notice any major growth in the beds.  Obviously this winter bedding is not designed to grow tall or overly colourful!

although the geese were obviously finding it comfortable

 I headed straight to the Princess of Wales to see how the orchid display is coming along,

just stopping for a couple of pics on the way

 walked past this huge tree trunk
 using the door at the "back" (nearest the Palm House) the desert section (full of the cacti I don't really like)  but this colourful hammock would make a nice resting place!

 in the main cacti section, you are greeted by a wicker pony carrying orchids
and this is one of the columns they were planting up last week
 I really like the sloth

 centrepiece in the pond, yet to be planted up. I am sure it will be covered in blooms (at the base if nothing else) soon

 and a turtle is emerging from the water!

 the display under the mangroves, on the other side of the steps by the water...

they've been busy here (they must be on schedule as there was no-one working on the display today)
 as I went down the steps to where the baby water dragons might be found, I saw an adult at the bottom...

(including the steps so you get an idea of the layout, I haven't photographed them before)

 enjoying the grating and posing.

I was looking around for the youngsters, but no sign of them...

then out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement
 another adult, coming out of the undergrowth

 a bit blurry.    I wanted to change lens to the close up...

I managed to capture one on my phone with both of them in shot but it's a bit small, - in the left on the bed, and on the path.
 but as I did so one of them ran off and I didn't catch where it went to...

I walked through the cool orchids section.
 I went up the steps to see if the water dragon i'd seen in the middle of the tree fern was there... it wasn't.  then i caught movement again as a tail moved- it was lying on the ledge!

 hanging off the edge, how funny!

 I carried on through the tropics section

 past more ferns

and then down to the main path through the POW
 I went back round to see if the second one had come out from hiding, or the little ones were around.

just this one then

so I kept walking round the glasshouse

 on the way up the steps over the water

 I'll try and remember to take ultra wide angles next time so you get a better idea of the layout still
you get a good view of the hanging bromeliads from steps (different steps!)

 sloth close up again
 the pony again

some areas are cordoned off to store the orchids yet to be installed

I had been inside for about an hour... time to go and see what else was happening..

 as I'd walked round from the station, I had seen through a gate a glimpse of the work taking place at the "family beds"  and had been speaking to the lady I often meet at the entrance about them

they won't be ready for visitor walk through till June, but things are happening!

they're digging new trenches for the roses to be planted up the pergolas.

 a small euphorbia in the rock garden.

most of the snowdrops in rock garden have passed their best already

so I walked through the alpine house

where I fought to focus on these tiny narcissus

 at the door I took a long shot for you...

as I walked back along the path outside, I remembered I'd promised to take a better shot of the dolphin inside the other entrance to the POW
so I went in...
the pump must have been off today as his beak (snout?) wasn't spurting water today.

but I couldn't resist walking through again!

 from this entrance you go through some ferns and at the end is a permanent display where there are some orchids..

I stopped for some closeups

before entering the main area again, and up the first set of steps to go down to find the water dragon.

 to my amazement, on the ledge above the mangrove area, I saw ANOTHER water dragon, on a ledge (they like ledges today!)

 so I went up to have a closer look, over the top of the railing

that makes 4 different ones today.   I know there are meant to be at least 8 (and that is without the youngsters) - they were very active - well not active as they tend to sit for ages... very visible today!

 yep, still on the grating!

 yep, still on the ledge in the cool orchid bit

 I carried on round again.

 taking closeups of different things

From what I've seen so far, this could be my favourite bit this year (may change when it's all finished!)

 it was gone 11  now, and I was hungry.   I headed to the Orangery restaurant fancying breakfast or a sausage sandwich again.

those tables from the other angle on the grass.

sadly, I'd missed breakfast serving so I set off for the Victoria Gate cafe...

 walking along the Broad Walk.

a lot has been cut back, as I think I mentioned last week, 

 but these silvery leaves of the cardoon are still quite big.
 raindrops (or dew) on the euphorbia

 in the distance I could see (and hear) gulls

someone's obviously feeding them

my view as I ate my cake and drank my hot chocolate - yes, outside!

it was quite chilly though so I didn't hang about

had one of my favourites, cinnamon apple..  (the cinnamon isn't very strong, just enough)

 I headed past the hellebores on my way to the Temperate House.

this is a big bed of hellebores, and the bees were busy, so it's obviously milder today

 just round the corner, the witch hazel were shining brightly again

 I love these orange ones, they look like crispy noodles!

 walking down the path to the Temperate House, the grass has been cut and tidied, this was the strip that was full of tulips last year for the opening of the TH (amazing to think it's nearly been open a year already)  I guess they will be growing through the grass in the next few weeks

 jasmine, didn't notice the scent this time

label said rhododendron hybrid

 noticed a visitor taking photos of this - it is way up high so couldn't get very close
 hope it grows some flowers lower down!

 I walked through

 taking pictures of shapes and colours that attracted me
 tree fern closeup
and through the light

 these are lasting ages.  still haven't found a label

this is still going too
 this proved hard to focus properly

I've photographed the flowers on this before (which are still around) but these berries have appeared now


love these individual tiny flowers

uncurling fern leaf
 took these next 2 on phone

back to camera

 saw these again.   Lesley, you were right when you said they were daisy-like

big sign about them, called Silver Daisy Bush

 these were growing in between two clumps of the white ones
 by the door, a big tub of small narcisssus.

 still closed for maintenance (no signs of it happening, so no idea what or how long it will be)

 signs of spring!  crocus in the grass
 nothing in the way of reflections today really,

lots of geese though!

 and the swans (they were both there)

it did break for a few minutes later...
on the Lockerbie memorial bench, were a couple of wreaths

 took a walk through the Palm House.

I could hear lots of birdsong but try as I might couldn't see any of the singers!

 the drift of euphorbia in the Broad Walk

 I could see pink off to the right.

and bright yellow underneath

I was on the doorstep of the POW so...

 still there!

 yep, may have moved along an inch or so but still there

 love his/her leg hanging off the ledge!

stood and watched for a few minutes again

just love them

 part of the hanging bromeliad display

 and this time noticed a purple hanging display next to it

 headed back out - these were right behind the door which may explain why I hadn't seen them last time.

 alpine house from the entrance of the POW
time to head home.  grabbed this one as I was walking over Kew Bridge back to the station, over the tops of the traffic.

was lucky with trains, was home in super quick time.

Hope you enjoyed the pics today!