Snowdrops at Kew Gardens
12th February 2020
Aldersgate Ward Club visit to the Snowdrops at Kew Gardens
It was pure good fortune that the Club visit to Kew Gardens fell between the days of storm Ciara and storm Dennis!
On 14th February twenty members and guests arrived at Kew in bright Spring sunshine to enjoy a guided walking tour of the gardens. Our two guides were volunteers who did not pretend to be experts but had been trained by experts. They engaged each group for one and half hours with stories about Kew and their passion for the gardens.
We were pleased to be reminded of the history of Kew, with its origins dating back to the merging of the royal estates of Richmond and Kew in 1772. We saw some marvellous vistas emanating from the Palm House and perhaps noticed for the first time the wonderful avenues of trees. We learnt about soil rotation and the mechanics of tree growth and the spans of three roots and enjoyed the opportunity to ask many questions.
Surrounding the outer area of the Palm House we saw an ivy hedge. 'An ivy hedge?' you may ask so what is interesting about that? 'Well a lot' is the short answer! The ivy hedge is of a late flowering variety and is trimmed in a different way from other hedges. The hedge is cut on the top one year and the sides the next to make sure that there are flowers each year which is ecologically sound for bees. Pots of Kew honey were available in the shop!
We visited the marvellous Alpine House where the temperature never goes above 10 degrees. This garden is built of tufa rock enabling flowers to grow in crevices as they would in their natural environment. Finally our guides departed, the time having flown, which allowed further exploration and for some the opportunity to visit the spectacular Orchid Festival where we admired breathtaking displays of Indonesian orchids. After so much walking refreshment was called for and the Original Maids of Honour restaurant provided the group a cosy private room which allowed members the opportunity to enjoy a traditional High Tea in a warm and most convivial atmosphere.
Thank you Master for arranging an excellent day and terrific weather!
Account of visit jointly written by the Master Ian Kelly and Past Master Jan Yerbury.
Pictures kindly taken by Jenny Semmens