Skip to content

A Sunday Morning Walk in Kew Gardens: June 2015

June 7, 2015

IMG_9210

It was a lovely sunny morning for my June visit to Kew for the ‘A Year in Kew Gardens’ project on the blog. Such a lot had changed in four weeks. The bluebells had died down, the wisteria flowers had gone and there wasn’t a tulip in sight. However, there was riot of colour everywhere heralding the coming of summer and a new festival had arrived in the form of spice: Full of Spice is running until 9 September.

IMG_9213

There are lots of wonderful events connected to this celebration of all things spicy. There are Spice Tours at 12 noon and 2pm every day and some Spicy Lates on Wednesday evenings through to 1 July when you can explore a world of spices after dark and see Tai Chi in the Rose Garden and enjoy live music and spicy street food. A Gin Van is open at weekends and bank holidays selling spicy G&Ts, gin cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.

IMG_9133

The restaurants and cafés are serving special spice dishes and you can even take a ride on a Spicy Rickshaw (£8.50 for 20 mins; advance booking needed).

IMG_9164

In the Palm House you can see spicy plants like Tumeric, Black Pepper, Ginger and Nutmeg growing. A display by the plants gives you lots of information and there’s a small box you can open to smell the particular spice.

IMG_9120IMG_9126IMG_9124

As you can imagine, lots of kids were having fun with these – and some of the grown-ups too! It was such a lovely day and with the sun pouring into the Palm House I decided to climb the spiral staircase to walk round the gallery.

IMG_9116

In the Spice Exchange you could see thousands of spice jars filled with different spices.

IMG_9169

On Sundays there are World Music afternoon sessions there. At an East India Company stall you can buy teas, spicy chocolate and jams with added spices.

IMG_9174

After all that spicy excitement I decided it was time to move on to something more calming. In the Woodland Garden I found pretty Saxifragaceae.

IMG_9142

An gorgeous irises:

IMG_9145

Nearby was a Peony garden:

IMG_9151

IMG_9185

And a large clump of Cala Lillies:

IMG_9157

Near the Orangery Restaurant some huge Horse Chestnut trees were in blossom:

IMG_9178

Colourful flowerbeds were full of lovely flowers like these majestic alliums:

IMG_9182

I walked across the Gardens to the lake and then on into the Pineteum. Look at the amazing bark on this Chile Pine:

IMG_9199

It looked a little as if rope had been carefully wrapped around it in spirals. I was so far across the Gardens from where I’d started I decided to keep going into the Redwood Grove; I hadn’t looked at the Redwoods for some time. Within this wooded  area I became a bit disorientated. OK – I was lost.

IMG_9197

There was no one much around and I felt a bit like I was entering some kind of fantasy world and any moment an elf or woodland creature would pop out at me. Fortunately it was a man who appeared. Well actually he was sitting on a bench and called: ‘Are you lost?’ I felt a bit ridiculous. Just how many times in many many years have I walked round Kew Gardens. ‘I always get lost in this bit,’ he kindly reassured me. And then directed me towards the Redwoods.

IMG_9204

A plaque informed me that the diameter of the average Redwood trunk is 8.2m/27ft.

IMG_9207

Yes those are my feet! I stood by one and looked up:

IMG_9205

Wow! They are AMAZING. And I was so lucky to have some time with them all on my own. I’d been in the Gardens for a couple of hours; walked over 5km according to the pedometer on my iPhone. Time to head back to Victoria Gate and home. I passed near the Pagoda and Japanese garden.

IMG_9210

It was just past midday. Families were settling down at benches or on rugs on the ground and opening up picnics. When I got back to the gate I saw I could take some of the spicy plants home; the shop was stocking chilli plants:

IMG_9214

I decided to give the plants a miss – last time I tried to grow a chilli plant it wasn’t a success. But I did buy a book about spices from the East India Company stall.

IMG_0645

And I really think I want to go back for one of the Spicy Lates one Wednesday evening. What a lot of great stuff is going on at Kew Gardens this month. I don’t think I’ll be waiting another month to go back!

4 Comments
  1. Ah, beautiful Kew Gardens! The Gin Van sounds fantastic 😉

  2. I enjoy reading about the different walks you take in this beautiful garden. Redwood groves are my favorite and we have a few left here on the California coast. That spicy Late sounds great.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: