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A Breath Of Fresh Air

Kew Gardens

By Tabby LondonPublished 27 days ago 3 min read
Kew Gardens

London is fortunate to have so much green space. Did you know it can be classified as a forest? I’m not making it up. It’s true. London is the largest urban forest in the world. Who classes what a forest is? The United Nations classifies a forest as having 20% trees. London is 21% trees. Super happy to hear this.

There are 8.4 million trees in London, nearly one for each person living in the City. 40% of public land in London is made up of green space, and one area known for its trees is Kew Gardens.

One Of Many Secluded Spots

Kew Gardens

I first came to Kew with my parents and then with school. I decided to make another visit last year. I’ve been twice this year and am proud to be a member. I was blown away by how I felt after my previous visit in May. After spending a few hours here, I loved the chilled-out vibe. I love Kew because of its location and, more importantly, what it offers. It’s also only 45 minutes from where I live, so now I have no excuses.

The infamous Botanical Garden in West London will lift your mood within minutes. Kew isn’t just a tourist attraction; it’s a place of significant research but home to many endangered species of plants. It’s a living laboratory.

Getting Around Inside

Pine Territory From The Train

If you’re an avid walker like me, a good pair of walking shoes will serve you well. If not, you can ‘hop on and hop off’ the guest trains, which will take you around the gardens for an additional cost of £6 per person per day. It’s a fun way to see the Gardens, especially if you’re not into walking too much.

The Oriental Pagoda in The Japanese Garden

The Palm House

The Palm House

Top View, But It Was Humid
Top of The Palm House
Musa or Banan Plant from South East Asia

The infamous Palm House is always a crowd-puller, and it’s understandable as to why. It’s like a living tropical forest, where the air is heavy with dense and lush vegetation. Nothing is amiss inside the Palm House because everything works so well together. Did you know the Kew Scientists rely on the Palm House Collection for research into medicine and sustainable cropping?

The Palm House was constructed in 1844 by Richard Turner and has an attractive shape. It’s like an inverted hull of a ship. It’s worth climbing to the top if you can withstand the heat. I’d say go well hydrated because it’s very humid.

The Giant Water Lilly in the Lilly House

Idylic View Of The Rose Garden From The Palm House

The Rose Garden

Another place of interest is the beautiful Rose Garden outside the Palm House. It’s a floral feast for both amateurs and expert rose fans. There are over 170 varieties, and when the garden blooms from May onwards, you’ll be in for a real treat. The rose garden was designed in 1848, but roses were only planted there in the 1920s.

The Rose Garden

The Marc Quinn Show

Currently on at Kew is the Marc Quinn Light into Life exhibition. There are 17 sculptures dotted around the Gardens. Plus, there’s a dedicated exhibition space for his work at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. The artist worked closely with the horticulturists and scientists to create his clever pieces. They encourage you to see each exhibit and the landscape around you from your perspective.

Outside The Temperate House

Stinky Plant

I missed the stinky plant or Titus Arum, which blooms during the week. It does so every two years and is one of the smelliest plants on earth. It’s known as the corpse plant because it smells like rotten flesh. The foul odour is to attract pollinators that love to feed and breed off the flesh. It only grows in Sumatra, Indonesia, but sadly, it’s an endangered species due to deforestation and land degradation.

Source: Kew Gardens

Parting Comments

For me, the best therapy is to be around nature, especially when you can leave the hustle and bustle behind and be in the moment. I found both my visits rejuvenating, and I can see why Kew Gardens holds an extraordinary place with people. It’s hardly surprising that nearly 2.4 million people visited Kew Gardens in 2021/2022.

Thankfully, there are 300 acres of space, and you are guaranteed to find your spot for reflection and peace. While researching for this article, I discovered that Kew has its own Constabulary. The Kew Constabulary (formerly the Royal Botanic Gardens Constabulary) is a small, specialised constabulary responsible for policing the Royal Botanic Gardens.

I could spend all day at Kew, but if you don’t have that much time, I’d recommend 3-4 hours. You might even want to visit Kew Palace, inside Kew Gardens, where Queen Charlotte lived with King George III.

I hope you enjoy your visit.

Best wishes

Tabby

Kew Palace

culture

About the Creator

Tabby London

The London I've been discovering is usually off the well-beaten track.I love the nooks and crannies and walking along the streets steeped in centuries worth of history. I'm fond of Zone 1 because that's where it all began centuries ago.

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    Tabby LondonWritten by Tabby London

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