by Charlene Burgi
I woke to a crisp sunny morning in London and knew it would
be the perfect day to explore the 300 plus acres of landscaping at the Kew
The day only became better as I walked out of the
underground tube into the charming hamlet of Kew. Small shops covered with
multitudes of colorful flowers only peaked my excitement even before arriving
at the Victoria Gate entrance.
The map provided at the gate pointed out that the largest
greenhouse I ever witnessed lay ahead. Green lawns unfolded before my eyes as I
approached the massive architectural glass structure.
Plants found within delighted the eye as they were grouped
in settings according to the continents from where they came. The sectioned
plant surroundings included water features such as falls and misting systems
duplicating the natural growing environment. The artful arrangements exceeded
my expectations - and I had only just started the day.
Behind this greenhouse stood a type of scaffolding I
couldn’t wait to climb. Clambering up 30 feet allowed me to walk within some of
the 1,500 types of tree tops found within the gardens. What a thrill, and what
As I descended, the garden cottage built for Queen Charlotte
in the 1700’s caught my eye. Getting there involved hiking through the woods.
Each step forward was as if I took a step back in time. Eventually the cottage
appeared through the thicket of trees. Dressed in garb of the era stood the
Royal staff providing directions and sharing the history of this amazing Royal
As I departed, it struck me there were benches scattered
throughout the woods and large grassy areas. The random placements spoke to the
fact that this is a place for the people to enjoy. Not one “stay off the grass”
sign appeared. This garden was cherished and respected by the people.
There is so much to share. The Queens kitchen garden showcased
the “no dig” garden philosophy and building healthy soils. Other areas
displayed dry gardens and plant materials suitable for such successful growth.
I would be remiss not sharing the knot gardens, the Palm greenhouse and the
water gardens I explored. The blog is just too limited to go into such
My senses were beyond fulfilled as I boarded the tube
heading back toward central London. Visions of gardens filled my mind as I
shared the day with my museum-visiting family that evening. Needless to say, a
good time was shared by all.
Stay tuned next week as I attempt to describe the beauty
found within the region of the Alps.
Knot Gardens Next to the Palm Greenhouse
Treetop with Greenhouse in Rear