Rainy Day at Kew Gardens – Richmond (Greater London), UK

Kew Gardens is a fascinating place if you’re into plant and horticulture, or if you’re just into looking at really beautiful things. We happened to be visiting on a particularly rainy day, but it didn’t stop us from wandering the grounds when we could and finding shelter in the multiple glasshouses when we needed it.

Minh and I took a ton of pictures to gather inspiration for our front yard, whenever we decide to get to the project. Drought tolerant plants are key here, and there were some nice diplays of “dessert scapes” that provided lots of inspiration. I would love to put some barrel cactus in our front yard with some big rocks and tall, drought-tolerant grasses. The Princess of Wales Conservatory is also divided into “rooms” that represent different climate zones. Each “room” has it’s own display of plants from that climate zone, including “carnivorous” plants and an array of orchids.

Kew Gardens is the first place I’ve seen gigantic lily pads. It was AMAZING! Part of me wanted to see if I could stand on one, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t hold my weight… it probably maxes out with small toddlers, if they could sit still.

The sheer number of plants at Kew Gardens is really amazing, and they do more than that too. They have research facilities and a plant DNA bank, and all sorts of other science and conservation works. They also have a nice museum exhibit on how plants come into play in our daily lives, including a mock-up of an indigo dying plant and all sorts of products made from plants that you might not expect. Some buildings were closed because we came after the summer season, and others were closed for restoration or renovation, but we still spent the better part of a day there, and were able to see a lot. I would highly recommend a trip out to Kew Gardens to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Kew – Royal Botanic Gardens
Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB
OPEN DAILY 9:30AM to 4:15PM (at least)

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