Saturday, May 4, 2019

Kew - early hours again - hurrah!

I have been longing for this week since the end of last summer... the Members early opening from 8am.. it means getting up just after 5am but it's worth it!  Come with me on a marathon visit...
I took nearly 700 photos so it's going to be a long post, and a long time to condense them down to something manageable!

 the sun had not long risen when I left home
 after an impatient wait at the gates, I was first in, ahead of quite a few other keen members

normal starting point, of course!

 tulips... still pretty, but are starting to fade...

 the light was catching Summer Sun well... good reflections behind it too
oh yes!!!

 the purple alliums in the Palm House beds are further along than the white ones

 which are quite tightly in bud still , for the most part
 shame the fountain wasn't on again
 the light was good on the tulips at the far end of the path by the Palm House

 I headed down the Broad Walk, turning round first..


love the purple against the bright euphorbia

 gorgeous tulips in the early light

fabulous colour mixes

 I cut round towards the Hive, and the wisteria...

 I met the lady I talk to at the gate again here, she was admiring it as well
 I walked up the path round the Hive and admired the flourishing wild flower meadow

 I wish I knew what they all are!

 no lying down on the glass of the Hive as it hadn't been cleaned yet

 back down on the Broad Walk again

 past the Victoria Gate entrance and heading towards the Meditteranean Garden (glasshouses not opened till 10 so can't go in any of them yet)

Sapphire Star sparkling in the sun

 swapped to ultra wide angle

 the Judas tree looks fabulous!


 as I swapped lenses again, a robin landed on the top of the seat I was using.  It flew straight off again so I couldn't get any  more pics

lucky that I had the macro on though!

 love the purple glass behind the pink of the Judas tree
 walked round towards the Temperate House,
 as I walked past I couldn't resist peeking through the windows

 I headed down towards the Japanese Garden
 nice to see blue sky, after some dull days here

 it's lovely that some areas are allowed to run a bit wild amongst all the cultivation - it's glorious at this time of year!

(cue, I got carried away)

 I headed for the woodland walk

 where the massed bluebells are

 it was still fairly quiet here
 a Kew person on a bike, they use bikes a lot to get about inside the gardens

 I had to keep remembering to turn round to see where I'd come from...
 the sun was coming and going and dappling over the bluebells
 I walked up a little path

 at the end of the woodland walk is a log walk thing for kids to play on,  the mushroom is left from a previous Kew event some years ago
 daisy covered grass at the top of the lake..
so many shades of green!

 sleeping goslings!  losing their fluff already, they grow fast

 laburnum overhanging the lake

 whilst I was photographing the swan, a squirrel ran up the tree next to me

 mandarin duck, enjoying the sun

 wide angle time again
I took one through the "fence" as I changed lens...
to the other side of the bridge

 I crossed the lake on the bridge

 and went and climbed the Treetop Walkway - not quite as windy as last week!

clear views too

 swapped back to wider angle

 I'd seen a bloke taking a picture of the shapes of this triangular seat last week, but hadn't wanted to copy him at the time, so waited until today
looking down at the Temperate House

 the sweet chestnut flowers are prolific
 great view across London though my sense of direction is not great so not sure which way
 great patterns on the walkway
 back down on the ground
I could now go inside the Temperate House

 just love it, no apologies for sharing it again
 however, my eye was caught by something in the doorway....

how had I not seen this before!  another sculpture.

called opal and gold chandalier.

it was gorgeous! 


 from above

 quick change of lens again

descending the steps

 another selfie in the Ikebana

 headed out of the door by the "new" one...
 walked down the path past the Crystal Tower
 into the gallery,  didn't linger so long (I was hungry!)

 but took a few
and the sculptures for sale...

you may be able to enlarge to see the prices..

if only! 

not that I have anywhere suitable I could display them so effectively even if I could afford one!

 walking back past the Palm House again, can't resist some more pics of the alliums

before going into the Waterlily House

 the plants round the outside of the pond are growing well too

framing the Summer Sun through a tree
 outside the Princess of Wales glasshouse,

it seems early in the season for California Poppies...

the flowering yukka is bending it's stem under the weight of the flowers,

the orange sign tells you that the bags are to catch the hand pollinated seeds for the Millenium Seed Bank

 as I walked up the steps between the pond and the mangroves, I looked down and saw a young Chinese Water Dragon - no idea if it is the same young one that used to be down in the other section that has relocated, or a different one

 he was hard to photograph through the wires on the side of the steps
 and even more so when he darted closer to the side out of view
 as I was taking his (her) photo I heard someone talking about this one sitting on a damp rock above,

 I have never seen one there!

he looked as if he could slip off at any moment but they obviously have very good grip in their splayed toes!
 apart from a quick turn of his head, it was motionless

slightly different view between the leaves down a step...
 carrying on my way... no sign of any other dragons anywhere

 nope, can't resist this either

 foxglove, inside the doorway on the way out, making for awkward photography angles!

walked "next door" to the alpine house, the blinds were down shielding the plants from the sun

 just outside. 
 alliums inside..

 outside, love the blue of the camassia.

I only know what it's called because BBC Breakfast's weather presenter was on an outside broadcast during the week standing in a meadow-full of the stuff!
 it's a member of the asparagus family apparently.

 went to the top level of the Rock Garden to look at the Pasqueflowers - mostly "fluff" this week

pine tree

 walked past the wisteria again on my way (finally) to get refreshments

 love the bright green in the sunshine

 outside the Orangery a huge patch of beautiful iris

these ones were a beautiful deep red-burgundy colour, deeper than this looks
 and just adore these purple and white ones

 I sat outside with my coffee and cake (blueberry and coconut... same as  last week, nice, but very sweet...)

there were some big clouds about..
but I went down the Broad Walk and sat on a bench for a bit...

 love this combination, as I think I mentioned!

and these I remember from last year too

 it began spitting with rain...
 love a cloud!
 frilly tulips

 I know, these again!
 clouds and alliums ! 
 the weather didn't know what to do today. . bright sun again now

 went inside the Palm House

 i love these big fan shaped palms

 especially with the light shining through them

 outside, walked across the Rose Garden
they've got tall really quickly

 I think this is my least favourite of all the glass sculptures.

note the grey sky now behind it!

 I had seen this from a distance earlier when I walked along the lake, and now headed for it..

what a gorgeous colour

 went to find the tree's label.. Fagus Sylvatica Nigra... it's certainly dark blood red
 till the sun shines on it!

 I headed through the wildflowers to find the Rhododendron Dell...

never think to go there, but my cousin had been sharing pics of the rhododendron  from her park...
 but first, I got carried away again..

 forget which type of  birch this is... there were several
 it was worth the detour, they were huge

at one point when I was taking my close ups I turned round to almost be knocked by the Kew train (which I didn't know came this far round) and then had to stand there as it pulled away past me (having checked I was ok) and everyone on board looking at me....

good job they only travel slowly!

 love the hint of the bright pink rhododendron through the birch trees
 I think this might have been the culprit!

heading back into the centre of the gardens again

 past the collection of new acers.. little flowers.

the wind kept blowing them out of focus
 Palm House
 tulip tree, budding up... must remember to come back to this
 past the end of the Palm House and Summer Sun...

 final stop at the tulips

before heading down the Broad Walk,

where it proceeded to dump rain and hail on me for a few minutes...
that cloud behind the building!

 quick check on the laburnum tunnel


 another Judas tree
 blue sky and sun again now!

contrary weather!

 the formal bed in front of Kew Palace, and I was on my way home...
stroll across Kew Bridge to the station..

6 hours, over 600 (nearly 700 as I said) photos...

bit of a marathon today, but you know how I love the early openings... will try and catch up on my sleep tomorrow!

thanks for looking


Virginia said...

Wow what a post, I'm not surprised you were excited and how exquisite does Kew look. I love all the beautiful glass sculptures, it looks like an amazing blue skies day. I also love the bluebells - they are my favourite at this time of year. The labernum arch also looks stunning and the wisteria is another favourite. Thank you for showing me round


craftimamma said...

Fabulous post Helen and my favourites of the day are the wonderful tulips! So much variety in both colour and form and such elegant flowers. Coming a close second is the glorious wisteria and I can just imagine the perfume. The wildflower meadow does not disappoint either. I just love to see flowers growing like that with any formality whatsoever. I bet you were pretty shattered after that early wake up and all that walking but thanks for doing it on our behalf, lol

Lesley Xx

Sue said...

Hi Helen, Stunning photos. Sue

Etsuko said...

Incredibly Beautiful Helen. Great photos of this wonderful season by your great catch!! You are really photographer talented. Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos. They make me so happy. xx

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

I'm not surprised you take so many pics. it's a lovely place and it's nice to be able to see how the seasons change the look of it. Have a great weekend. Hugs, Angela xXx