Whether you’re a professional botanist, gardening enthusiast, or simply love to look at beautiful flowers, Kew Gardens is the perfect place to spend the day. Here is my list of the best things to see when you visit!
Within this Victorian glasshouse is a miniature rainforest filled with plants from one of the most threatened environments in the world. Be prepared, however, for the wall of humidity to hit you from the tropical climate. Frizzy hair and fogged glasses are worth it though, especially if you take the stairs to the top and see the greenhouse like a bird perched on a tree.
Alpine plant separated by region—Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean, Asia, New Zealand and Australia, North American, and South America—make up this section of Kew. Walking through this garden is like travelling around the world, especially with the sculptures by artists from the regions. The Rock Garden also contains the Alpine House, which is the home to plants that need a bit dryer climate (a nice contrast to the Palm House).
Plant Family Beds:
To quote my friend, this is like a “museum for plants.” With 102 beds displaying 93 plant families, this is certainly one of the most colourful parts of the gardens. If you’re looking for a good Instagram picture, then this is an excellent place to get it.
Artist Wolfgang Buttress designed the Hive to be a completely immersive experience. It is built like a 17 meter-tall beehive, and the sounds and lights inside are triggered by activity in Kew’s real beehive. Look out for after-hours events at Kew to see the Hive’s lights at night!
The Hive isn’t the only art in Kew! There are sculptures scattered everywhere, fitting in naturally with the plants. While walking between attractions, be sure to look out for the bear in front of the Princess of Wales Conservatory, the turtles in the Rock Garden, and so much more!
Marianne North Gallery:
Open since 1882, this gallery is the home of Marianne North’s botanical paintings. She arranges the paintings by geographical order, so walking through the gallery you will how the plants change as you travel around the world! Not only are the paintings fascinating, but the building they are in was beautifully designed by North’s friend James Fergusson with a flawless combination of classical Indian and Greek architecture.
If the walkway in the Palm House sounded interesting, then this attraction is for you! 18 meters above the ground, the walkway gives you the best view of Kew’s massive arboretum. Take in the breath-taking sights with the 200-meter walkway in the forest’s canopy.
Have you been to Kew Gardens? What’s your favourite spot?