Saturday, February 9, 2019

Orchid Time at Kew

As you know I have been watching the developing displays for the annual Kew orchid festival, themed this year on the orchids and wildlife of Columbia. 
Today was the first official day of the month long festival and there was a sizeable queue waiting for the gates to open at 10.

 I made a brisk walk via the Palm House for my traditional first shot
 and paused only to admire the rich blue reflecting from a perfect sky in the water.  (belying the chill wind)

the coffee bearing pony.

I kept the wider angle on for the first few minutes to get a good idea of the overall display for you..

 I smiled at the hats on the cacti

 into the main part of the display, where I had made it before too many other visitors

I like the swimming turtle covered in bromeliads and she's now got eyes!

 the sloth has been decorated too

 walking up the steps to look from higher

 one of the arches on the upper level

 Eli, the supervisor of the POW glasshouse, did a Facebook live tour of part of the display yesterday (not sure i can upload a link sadly) and was explaining that this feature represents a river in Columbia that has glorious colours (known as the river of 5 colours 

It is lit up, as Kew are offering after hours night visits (not planning on taking advantage of one)
 it looks every bit as good as it did last week

 this section with the life size jaguars represents a forest floor

 at this point I put the macro lens on so I could get in closer and then go round and get some closeups

 then I went into the next zone

I always love these dark purple/red orchids they use

 you have to look up, down and every-which-way so you don't miss anything!

 you'll remember this from last week, it represents the legend of El Dorado I know now.

 I went down beside El Dorado to some of the lower parts

 and got a different angle on the main display bit

 I had to use a finger to stop the jade vine swinging (someone had knocked it) to capture a pic.    it hangs low so knocking it is easy

 the spoonbills in the pond

 couldn't get any closer or I'd have fallen in the water...

 walked down the side
 to see the main display from a different angle

 something else up above to look at
 closeup on another big pillar of colours

 rather than head outside I walked back round again.  it had already got a lot busier inside so it was now going to be hard to avoid bodies in pics!

 on the centrepiece of the main display

 at the other entrance

 apparently Columbia has a large butterfly population.  sadly these weren't real!

 a final walk through

another look at the "river"

 finally made my way back outside...
Did manage to make breakfast in the restaurant though, another lovely sausage sandwich

 bit greyer than when I went in!
 I was wearing sunglasses, funnily enough, it was bright despite the cloud!

 later on when I came back past the Palm House, I noticed that the bulbs (tulips probably) are just starting to poke through some of the planting.

no wonder so many geese and gulls are hanging around..
 long queue outside the POW to see the orchids now!

 I headed for the Temperate House and then the lake

 loads of crocus out now
 as I crossed the bridge, this mallard with his lovely irredescent head shone at me

 this goose preening looks a bit uncomfortable!

 these geese in a line made me smile
 as I got to the end of the lake, the sun was gorgeous and these grasses were waving madly in the wind,  behind them I could see the swans had got out of the water on the other bank so I went back round

 the wind was really bending the grasses

 I've heard a few people saying they've seen early daffodils out, so had been keeping my eyes open,  did find one or two!

 but definitely more crocus!

 cut through the Palm House but that was quite crowded too, so didn't stop too long

 the queue for the orchids was almost back at the pond now!

 on my way out, I noticed some nice fluffy clouds,

found some yellow crocus on the raised bank under the Hive

then went in to see the photographs from the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition, which is always on at the same time as the Orchids.

Didn't take any pics as wasn't sure of the copyright rules, but there were some stunners (you can google them, and the BBC website had a feature on the winners too

the wind was still blowing the Orchid banner (on the right)  as I headed home

Hope you've enjoyed this mammoth blog post, full of colour - we'll go again soon though! 


craftimamma said...

What a stunning post Helen! Those orchids are breathtaking. I think the 'river' is my favourite part but it's hard to pick a favourite looking at pics. I still love the sloth, lol! It always surprises me to see how far in front the spring flowers are down there compared to up here in the Midlands. We don't have a crocus out in our garden yet let alone a daffodil!

I think my favourite photo of the day is 111 which might seem odd when there are so many glorious pics to choose from but I love the misty white hanging down with the bright orange showing through. It's almost like looking through a waterfall.

Lesley Xx

Kyla said...

Fantastic, love that they decorated the sloth!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I had been waiting for this post. I was sure there would be a long line to get into the festival.

This is the first time I have seen the horse from a distance and I like it even better from the longer angle.

I wonder what the purpose of the hats on the cacti was! Seemed out of place to me.

I really like that they didn't go overboard on the sloth. I thought it was quite fitting.

What a beautiful display of the river of five colors. However, I think I like the forest floor and the jaguars even better.

Great photo of the swans and of course the ducks always make me smile.

Thanks for arriving early and getting some fabulous shots before the crowds showed up. This was a fun and most enjoyable post, Helen. BTW, I think I finally got the significance of the hats after seeing the couple and the butterflies.

Diana Taylor said...

Wow, what fabulous photos - the whole experience must have been breathtaking to see. I've so enjoyed the journey - thank you!
Diana x

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Gorgeous photographs Helen and I was drooling over the Orchids, you know how much I love them. Thanks for sharing and wishing you a happy creative weekend, Angela xXx

pearshapedcrafting said...

Another real treat Helen! I have seen some of those BBC photos! Hugs, Chrisx