Kew Gardens

The weather the weekend just gone was beautiful and to celebrate this, Reiss and I went to Kew Gardens.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was founded in 1759 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. Kew Gardens is one of London’s top visitor attractions and Wakehurst, the second garden in West Sussex, is home to Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank.

Over the past 250 years Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has made innumerable contributions to increasing the understanding of plants and fungus with many benefits for mankind.

‘Our science and conservation work helps to discover and describe the world’s plant and fungal diversity, safeguards the world’s plant life for our future and promotes the sustainable use of plants.’

The area covers 300 acres and is divided into many sections, covering a diverse range of plant life. Also to be seen are many different exhibitions and wildlife such as peacocks, geese and squirrels. Due to this diverse range I will be splitting my posts into 4 areas to break up a large amount of photos taken.

I am going to start with the outdoor gardens.

The classic image of the Palm House at Kew Gardens, this is the rainforest conservatory and is the most important surviving Victorian Iron and Glass structure in the world. It was designed to accommodate the exotic palms being collected and introduced to Europe in the early Victorian times. (sorry about the people :P)

 

Conservatory

Japanese garden

The Japanese garden area is dominated by a massive structure shown above, it can be seen across the park. Although impressive, it is extremely difficult to capture! I much preferred the texture underneath 🙂

Red

Finally, outside the Lillypond House there were some beautiful flowers being pollinated by some wonderful bees! Again hard to capture but I gave it a go!

Bumblebee

 

 

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Day 1 – The Eden Project

Reiss and I have just recently taken a short trip to Cornwall. From where we live in Essex to Helston (where we stayed) was about a 6.5 hour drive. To try and break this up a bit we decided to go to the Eden Project on the way there.

Biomes2

Although both of us felt that Kew Gardens in London have a wider range and is on a larger scale, The Eden Project was still worth the visit. We began by clearly disregarding all queues and just walking in (we had pre paid, but even still no one stopped us or asked us for tickets) and then began our adventure into the Rainforest Biome.

Rainforest 2

Immediately the climate change hits you and your camera lens. It is extremely close and humid, it took about half an hour of constantly cleaning my lens before it acclimatised.  However, some of the effects on the pictures were quite interesting.

Rainforest 3

This platform was 50m up from the forest floor. It is suspended by wire from the top of the biome, this made it extremely wobbly. Only 24 people are allowed up at a time. You can see through the floor and the stairs on the way up but it was surprisingly not scary.

Rainforest 5

The biomes themselves were really interesting and made some amazing patterns. They really stand out next to all of the foliage.

Waterfall

This biome was complete with waterfall to add even more moisture into the mix.

Waterfall 2

From here we went to the Mediterranean Biome. Which we thought would be a hot climate for cacti etc. However it was just pleasant in temperature. There was a pasty competition going on all day in this biome with live music from The Wurzels.

Mediterranean

There was a lot of unusual characters in this biome.

Mediterranean 2

Mediterranean 5

Mediterranean 6

Mediterranean 7

I found this guy amongst some tulips!

Mediterranean 3

Tulip

These were the only plant life as such that I found of interest in this climate, although I loved the smell of the orange groves. Unfortunately I am unable to capture the smell. 😦

Mediterranean 8

I found this rather large character outside. Due to the time of year the outside was mainly in hibernation. During spring and summer I am sure it is a wonderful sight.

Bumble bee

The domes themselves are really interesting and made for some strange shapes.

Biomes1

Overall a good visit, it broke up our traveling and was a good first day for our trip.