Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kew Gardens

Catch-up time yet again; it's always a quandary, should I write about what I'm doing NOW or should I deal with some of the back-log? Well, I love Kew Gardens- and have since I was a student in London many years ago- and so although this last visit took place a few days after I returned to the UK from LA at the end of March, here goes:

As it was a cold day and trying to rain, I first made for the wondrous glass Palm House, built between 1884 and 1848. Immediately, my camera lens was obscured by the tropical rain forest humidity- but I did manage to take some photos, relishing in the patterns everywhere:

I next explored the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Both here and in the Palm House, it was quite strange to see palms and cacti that grew happily outside in Los Angeles- it made me feel I was still there! I loved the snake-like look of this trunk:

and the coils here:

and the insect-like look of this Mangrove:

It was hard to believe that this was not a plastic flower!

The Orchid section came next- always amazing...

and then the Carnivorous plants: I have been fascinated by this sinister concept since I was a child on the Scottish moors, where carnivorous Sundews and Butterworts were abundant. This particular one had a wicked art nouveau elegance:

Now it was time to leave these tropical exotic delights and enjoy some of the trees outside. After all the tree destruction I have been witnessing, it was good to see this Black Locust Tree- planted in 1762- being still held together!

and what wonderful bark it had...

This monstrous tree is a Weeping Beech, the first I have come across:

While this is a Cucumber Tree, a member of the Magnolia family:

I will conclude this visit to Kew with some Magnolia flowers. Although most of them had lost their bloom I found some that entranced me:

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