Monday, March 22, 2010

Kew Gardens

We visited Kew Gardens last Thursday. It's one of these places we had heard about a lot, but never been to. A few years ago (a good few years ago), there was a program about Kew and its gardeners, on the BBC I think, probably on a Friday evening. They talked about various aspects of the gardens, the greenhouses, the seed bank program, planting summer bedding, ...It was very good television, even if you were not into gardening .

We had lovely weather for it - it brightened up nicely and got quite warm. Spring is late this year, so there was probably not as much in bloom as you'd normally expect by mid-March - crocuses were out, but daffodils were only barely starting, and the cherry blossoms looked completely dormant.

We walked down towards the Japanese tower, then had a look at the green-houses - temperate and tropical. We also had a look at the Evolution House, which has a few beautiful ferns (not much else, but these ferns were worth the detour).

We also walked the Xstrata treetop walkway, much to my horror. I'm not too bad with heights (well, I'm not great really, but I can manage), but I just didn't trust this structure to carry me safely. First of all, the lift is out of order (or "continues to remain out of order" as per the board at the entrance - maybe not the exact words, but you get the drift). Now, if they can't manage a simple lift, how can I trust that the rest of the structure is not going to collapse from under my feet (even if it was designed by the same architects as the London eye - note the term "designed", not "built")? The pillars looked solid enough, but the metal meshing used as steps/walkway material didn't inspire my confidence, particularly as it bounced or popped if you stepped in the middle of the round corner platforms. So, I held on to the wooden bannister the whole way round. Thankfully there were not too many others up there, so nobody to think I looked really silly (except Brendan of course, who even filmed me - and, no, I'm not sharing that little movie with you lot).

One final note - if you're expecting peace and quiet in the middle of the city, you'll be disappointed - while the tweety birds were singing their hearts out, planes landing in Heathrow were flying right across the gardens every 2 or 3 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely cameo of memory. You brought me back in time to when we visited Kew Gardens many years ago, and it's the wonderful ferns and their curling fronds I most remember.