EPS Kew meet

Posted: 9 Jun 2013

The 1st June saw a number of members arrive at Kew Gardens for our annual walk around admiring the range of plants on display. It was good to meet old friends and new members and this year to be joined by Martin Gibbons hot foot from the Palm Centre. Well done to Josh too who despite getting off the plane from an overnight flight from Philadelphia managed to shrug of jet lag for most of the day to join us.

The late season this year plus a decision to take some of the less visited paths between the glass houses was rewarded with some nice plant views. We also got to see 'Queen Charlottes Cottage' which I don't think I had ever made my way to see. Magnificent Rhododendrons were in bloom making a truly stunning walk from the Temperate House to the bamboo garden.

We were indebted to Sophie from Kews's Temperate House staff who I don't think had received the message that we were coming. She magnificently produced refreshments for us and a chance to have plant conversations in the staff basement quarters under the house... Thank you Sophie!

The house is due to close at the end of July for 5 years of much needed restoration. Many plants have been lifted and potted to be stored in a temporary house being constructed nearby. Some of the larger specimens are being left in the ground and will be given special winter protection whilst the house is dismantled around them. Sadly, many others have or are being felled as they were too large or difficult to lift. But on a positive note, the refurbished house will allow a fresh start with new material in brighter surroundings. It was very odd though I must confess, to see it looking so open, bright empty! It is usually so full of plants.

Our tour continued with a chance to take in the rock garden and alpine house, sub tropical border, the Princess of Wales conservatory complex and of course the Palm House. It was amazing to see the Tahina in a large pot and just how much it has grown in just a few short years. Hope they have room for it to be planted out.

All in all a great day and fantastic chance to talk plants in great surroundings, rounded off by the usual plant swaps outside, much to the amusement I suspect of the passing public! Thanks to Vic Silver for arranging the plan for the day which helped keep us more or less together and to everybody who came along.

Group shot outside the waterlilly house
Group shot outside the waterlilly house

View in the Temperate House
View in the Temperate House

News Archive