Kew Gardens Part 2 – Rainforest

This is the second stop on my Kew Gardens tour. The rainforest conservatory.

‘Heating was an important element of the glasshouse’s design, as tropical palms need a warm, moist environment to thrive.

Originally, basement boilers sent heat into the glasshouse via water pipes running beneath iron gratings in the floor. A tunnel ran between the Palm House and the Italianate Campanile smoke stack that stands beside Victoria Gate. This 150-metres-long (490 ft) passage served the dual purpose of carrying away sooty fumes to be released from the chimney and enabling coal to be brought to the boilers by underground railway.

Today, the glasshouse is heated using gas and the tunnel houses Palm House Keeper Wesley Shaw’s office.’

Coconut Furry Palm Palm Purple palm Texture Tree

 

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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.

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