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MMWD Blog: Think Blue Marin

Welcome to our blog! Written by staff at MMWD, “Think Blue Marin” explores all things water in south and central Marin—water supplies, conservation, new projects, watershed management, and more.

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Oct 05

A Day in Kew Royal Gardens

Posted on October 5, 2018 at 10:19 AM by Emma Detwiler

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 Royal Gardens.

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 views!  

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 family.

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 details.  

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 Palm Greenhouse
Knot Gardens Next to the Palm Greenhouse

Treetop with Greenhouse in Rear
Treetop with Greenhouse in Rear


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