My birthday at RBG Kew
It’s been tradition for the past decade that on each birthday I get a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. I love it here. This year my birthday fell on the hottest day of the year so far, but we bravely set off thru 33 degree weather, a huge traffic jam on the M4 and our one hour drive to Kew stretched to 2 1/4.
And just in time for lunch. First thing we did is walked past the glasshouses, clear across Kew, to the Orangery Restaurant for lunch. Each year things at Kew change. This year the theme is “grow” and veggies are being planted in flower beds. It’s a wonderful sight. In front of the Orangery Restaurant is this beautiful wildflower meadow in full splendour.
Of course, to me it didn’t matter a hill of beans if it was the hottest day of the year, I’m having tea! The barista who prepared my tea somehow broke the tea bag and I had a little fortune in the bottom of my cup.
Robert read it and said it looks like me and a wall and I have to get over the wall. I looked and saw me painting a painting on an easel. Anyone read tea leaves out there? Any visions? 🙂
Just outside the Orangery were the most fantastic raised veggie beds all full of plump veggies and herbs with seating areas and trellises. I told R I want a garden like this, he said “easy!” I’ll hold him to that. 🙂
Next we walked thru the walled gardens. We found a little pergola under a tree and had a rest. Perfect viewing spot. I’m not a big fan of grasses used in flower beds but am always surprised at how lovely they look when I see them planted like this. Maybe I need to investigate grasses more.
In the next walled garden, the Duke’s Garden, I found the absolutely most perfect rose in the world.
The name is Rosa Filipes Kiftsgate. It is a Cotswold found, David Austin bred rose, and it is the most spectacular climber I’ve ever seen.
It has these panicles of a hundred fragrant flowers all so soft and creamy and romantic.
Go order one right now! I’m serious! Look at the size of my hand up against one panicle. Order two! Couldn’t you just die?
After I recovered from the rose and the walled gardens, I wanted to see the glasshouses but R had had enough and decided to flake out under a tree for how ever long it took for me to visit the glasshouses. I don’t blame him. There was a lot of flaking out, having picnics and general happenings under trees today.
I visited the Palm house and the Temperate house but it was absolutely suffocatingly hot in there even with the misters going, so I didn’t stay long.
I walked thru the rose gardens and came on a beautiful tea party, but that post will wait for Tuesday 😉
Then from the rose gardens to the waterlily house.
This is my favourite glasshouse.
It looks like the Victoria will have several blossoms this year. Have you ever seen those Victorian photographs of children standing on the Victoria’s leaves? That must have been fun for them. Bet they felt like little water nymphs.
Then thru the woodland garden, past the little lake in front of the Palm house, down to the place where we always end our visit…
The Marianne North Gallery. I’m completely in love with this little gallery and with the paintings of Marianne North. She was the most prolific and well travelled Victorian artist (1830-1890). She described and captured hundreds of species and, some so newly discovered to the Victorian era, that they were named after her. She was a rich women who travelled the world, including Canada, was a friend of Darwin’s and remains the only woman in England to have a permanent solo exhibit in a gallery. (A little like Canada’s Emily Carr) We sat here for a very long time, (partly because of the air conditioning…lol), and took in all this beauty; the hundreds of paintings, the different species of wood panelling, the murals, the tiled floor, the whole unbelievably breathtaking beauty of it.
And then, we went home. 🙂