The post almost didn’t happen today. I turned up as my usual 9.30 on Sunday mornings wanting to get into the Gardens before the coach loads of visitors arrived and found the gates closed. A few other people were there, checking opening times on their phones, looking at the posters near the entrance. Everyone was confused. There was no one in sight beyond the gates; no sign anyone was about to open the Gardens. Then someone saw through the gates a board: from 22 April the Gardens wouldn’t open until 10.00am on Sundays. There were a lot of unhappy people. Perhaps this is a way of saving money but to introduce a later opening time just as we head into summer and long days didn’t seem like good planning. It was tempting to go home but in the end I just went back to my car and filled in half an hour reading the paper. When I walked back to the gates the small crowd had grown into a huge one and there were many more confused and disgruntled people around. What’s happening? Why aren’t they open? The gates opened on the dot of 10.00. The crowds surged forward. In at last! As a Friend you can beat the queues for tickets and go through a special aisle at the side. Soon the delay was forgotten and I delighted to find Kew had transformed over the last month into a land of colour and perfume.
It’s amazing how quickly things change though. I’d last been on 18 April with my daughter and took the photo of the tulips above – a stunning array of colour. That had all gone by today, dead heads cut off and only a few tulips, hanging barely on, remained (as in the top, opening photo). Also gone was the gorgeous avenue of prunus – cherry trees – in full blossom that I saw 3 weeks ago.
Today there were only green leaves on the trees. But other colour had arrived, often accompanied by strong perfume, such as this wonderful wisteria.
Just walking about, there was colour to be seen everywhere.
Beautiful peonies. I didn’t immediately recognise this large flower – a Claire de Lune variety – as a peony:
A woman stopped by me and remarked that they looked a bit like a fried egg! I loved these pretty irises:
There were loud azaleas:
Shy bluebells hiding in the wooded areas under trees:
In the vegetable garden, apple trees were coming into blossom:
It was a lovely morning to be in Kew Gardens. Despite a forecast of grey cloud the sun was managing to put in a good impression of early summer. As I made my way back to Victoria Gate it was getting very busy indeed. A large and dense crowd was advancing towards me as I neared the gate. It was definitely time for this local to go.