With over 8.5 million items, Kew houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world. They represent over 95% of known flowering plant genera and more than 60% of known fungal genera” Kew gardens are most certainly worth a visit. More than 250 years old and has over 30,000 different species of plants spread over 121 hectares of land a full day or more is definitely needed. And a perfect way to view fully established plants.
With 8 glass houses and the Temperate house is currently closed (5 year total with 1 year left), my favourite would be the Palm house, a Victorian building which recreates a rainforest climate housing a variety of tropical plants (some endangered or extinct) from over the world from canopy palms and other trees, climbers and epiphytes down to the shorter understorey plants and dwarf palms. Including the Ancient Cycad, (Encephalartos altensteninii) the oldest pot plant in the world. There is a spiral staircase with an upper level for an aerial view.
Inside the Palm House- Hanging lobster claw- Heliconia rostrata
The next large glass house would be the Princess of Wales, which Conservatory commemorates Princess Augusta who founded the gardens. There are 10 climate zones all under this one roof. You will find the amazing Amorphophallus titanum – Corpse flower, which produces a stench of rotting flesh to attract insects in the tropical rainforest. At a magnificent 2.5 metres high this plant only stays in bloom for a few days, even closed the smell is fairly pungent.
The Princess of Wales Conservatory
Another gem was Dukes Garden, a traditional walled English Garden close to Davies Alpine house. With large lawns and seasonal beds with also a lavender collection and mini apple orchard.
There are also little treats if you sidetrack off the paths from the badger set to log trail and a large play area to tire out the little ones. To strolling along the Thames, woodland walks, the Lake, the Cactus house, Waterlily house, Treetop walkway and Rockery. Plus, so much more.
Beehive Ginger- Zingibar Spectabile
We spent a day here but are looking to return soon as we did not get to see all and I hate missing out, especially as we were so blown away by the splendour. Any Landscaper or keen gardeners’ dream place to visit. Perfect whether a family or solo visit. I recommend packing a picnic and taking a leisurely break in one of the many wondrous areas during your strolls. If you didn’t fancy lugging a picnic around there are a few lovely cafes or restaurants, maybe enjoy your lunch in the stunning settings with a nice glass of wine.