Legendary Kew Gardens are magical

Written by Doug Oster on .

DougOster4LondonThe Palm House is reminiscent of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. It's filled with tropical plants. Photos by Doug Oster

The tour through the gardens of London keeps getting better. 

Historic Kew Gardens covers over 300 acres and dates back to the 1700s.

I would take days to properly explore this vast garden. Much of the Victorian era glass houses are reminiscent of Phipps.

One small glass house just off the Palm House is filled with waterlilies. The most spectacular are Victoria amazonica with its huge floating leaves. Our guide said a small child could float along on the leaves.


DougOster2LondonThere's just something about the beauty of waterlilies which is captivating. I'd never seen one reach out of the water and grow this tall. One of the interesting things about these gardens is the proximity to Heathrow Airport. Every minute of so a huge plane roars by overhead. I've been told this began post WWII, I wonder what the locals thought when the quiet of these old gardens was interrupted by the planes. I was terrified as I walked up the stairs of the Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway. I takes you above the treeline to get a view of another glasshouse; the Temperate House.

DougOster3LondonThe Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway will take your breath away ... literally. Every few minutes another huge plane roars into Heathrow, which certainly effects the experience of enjoying the gardens. Other highlights included the Rock Garden, Princess of Wales Conservatory and Pagoda. I wish there would have been more time to see the whole garden. Tomorrow it's Windsor Castle and Wisley Gardens. I hope I can get a post up. I'm not sure if I can get connected when I'm at Wisley, but will make my best effort. If not, I'll post as soon as I return. Flying back to the states on Saturday.

DougOster5LondonThe Pagoda seems to defy logic architecturally. It was completed in 1762 and was quite controversial. Today it's a landmark of the garden.


DougOster6LondonThe Princess of Wales Conservatory was opened by Princess Diana but is actually named for Princess Augusta, founder of Kew. The conservatory shows plants in 10 different climate zones. This is a carnivorous plant in one of the rooms.DougOster7LondonThe Rock Garden here is huge. I watched as no less than four gardeners meticulously preened and pruned the tiny plants.

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