Royal Botanic Kew Gardens Are Royally Kewl
Autumn possesses an uncanny magic, through its vibrant colours, suave light and gentle breezes. Reconnecting with nature is a core trait of this season, as the falling leaves form fragrant carpets that epitomise this time of year. If you happen to be in London, one of the most mesmeric experiences, is to visit the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens, a World Heritage Site founded in 1840 — which used to be the residence of the royal family.
The Kew Gardens were initially created when the mother of King George III, or Princess Augusta, decided to create a beautiful garden around Kew Palace. He hired the architect William Chambers who built the Orangery that still exists, the pagoda and the pond. But the gardens existed even before, since John Evelyn wrote that he visited the gardens of the Capel family in 1678.
They contain the largest and most diverse collection of living plants in the world. Your stroll around the gardens will be contoured by magnificent landscapes, beguiling glasshouses, iconic buildings and inspirational art galleries, that coalesce the country’s noble history with sustainable goals for the future.
As autumn recalls the precariousness of existence and triggers a sense of nostalgia, the Great Broad Walk Borders produce a final flourish before their winter rest, that is glorified by asters, rudbeckias and anemones.
Kew Gardens are not only a garden to visit but they are also a scientific organisation that deals with cataloging, studying and conserving plants and their seeds. Inside the gardens there is a building called Herbarium which contains over 6 million dry plants. This is what allows life to recur in the spring, with new shoots. Nature does not die, it only works under apparent sleep. The Grass Garden or herb garden has almost 600 different types of herbs, and some of the Japanese trees found near the pagoda date back to the original garden built by Princess Augusta.
Amongst the vast living library of trees, around the entire grounds there are some attractions that enthral all those who explore this wondrous site. While entering the Temperate House you will embark upon a journey across five continents, at the Palm House one can experience the magic of a tropical paradise in Britain’s capital. Here are some of the rarest plants one could imagine, such as the cicadophytes that are among the oldest plants on earth.
The Waterlily House dates back to 1852 and is home to various aquatic plants, it is the hottest environment in the gardens, where some of the plants hosted are ornamental but others are useful like rice and banana. Whereas for medical plants you can visit Nosegay Garden and find plants that have been used for healing in different cultures for thousands of years. If you are fond of bees, there is a multi sensory experience at The Hive, designed by artist Wolfgang Buttress allowing to step into the world of the pollinators that are so determining to a balanced eco-system.
A popular attraction at Kew Gardens is undoubtably Queen Charlotte’s Cottage, that was built for the queen in question as a country house, and that was eventually used by Queen Victoria who gave it to the nation in the late 1800s. Another popular building is the Temperate House, a greenhouse of the 1800s, that was very innovative for the time because of its curved glass sheets. In 2018 it reopened after several years of restoration. Furthermore, another spellbinding attraction is the Marianne North Gallery, where visitors can admire over eight hundred botanical paintings by the Victorian artist after whom the gallery is named.
This huge botanical park, truly serves as an important home for exhibitions, botanical galleries, unique collections, the Japanese farm, ponds and cottages. At Kew Gardens The elements of land and water meet overlooking the Thames, as the bounty of nature thrives majestically.