This blog is posted mostly everyday when we take a break from our usual retired Life as former full-time RVer's and travel overseas.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Kew Royal Botanical Gardens are Awesome - Aug 31, 2019

At one of our photography club meetings last year I remember someone saying that when you take a photo of an object you should never have a person standing in front of it looking at the camera. I'm afraid to say that today we paid no attention to that admonition.

I must also forewarn readers that if horticulture is not your thing you might want to be a speed looker today. Considerate Bob.


What an awesome sunrise this morning!


Kew Gardens have been on our bucket list for a long time, but we usually end up in London far too late in the fall to see much in the way of outdoor displays, so we have postponed it. It being summer, today was our day to revel in the beauty of the world's greatest botanical garden. Happy Bob. Happy Linda.

We have seen the photos of this structure many times over the years, I can only comment that it is much more impressive in person that in photos. The same goes for the beautiful young model.


Dale Chilhuly is arguably today's most daring and innovative artist working in glass. In our travels around the world we have enjoyed many glass sculptures. How fortunate was for us that there was a special exhibit going on of his artworks throughout the gardens. I wish I knew how to photograph them to better display their awesomeness. Poor Bob.


Why we wanted to come in the summer.


That first photo of Linda showed what is called The Palm House in the background. To enter it is to leave one world and enter another. It is the tropics brought to life, and it brought back memories of our time in the Amazon.


Moments after entering, if you wear glasses, this is what you see through them. It's rain forest humidity moments after temperate temperatures. You might also guess what it does to camera lenses.


While Linda stayed on the ground I did something I rarely do, I climbed a circular stairway up to the top of the rain forest. Between the foggy glasses and the vegetation hanging over everything I really wasn't aware of any height. I can only say if you visit here and don't climb up your missing an experience that can't be adequately described.




Like I said camera lenses fall just like eyeglasses fog, a photo from up high, where the humidity is water droplet level and the heat is up there also.


Back on terra firma cleaning my glasses.


The water running down the windows at the exit says, it's definitely humidity here.




Photos by Linda taken from down below while I walked around the top see much but not being able to photograph anything.



I don't know whether we've ever seen court trees before or not. The interesting thing was there was a sign nearby say that the cork forests surrounding the Mediterranean are actually threatened due to abandonment. It turns out that winemakers are going to screw top bottles and plastic corks to improve the quality of their wines. Meanwhile there is efforts going on to find new uses for the amount of cork that previously went into wine bottle corks. It was interesting touching the bark because as Linda said, "it's soft and spongy, just like a cork."




More glass sculptures. Notice lights on the photo above. The gardens are currently open on some evenings and the sculptures are lighted. I wish it would fit in with our plans so that we could visit, it's got to be totally awesome.


The largest of the original glass houses, the temperate house.





We loved all the information panels that were in abundance because it allowed us to learn things or understand why something was important. We been to New Zealand, seen all the Kiwi vines, but never realized that they were originally from China.


Now that's a hibiscus flower!





The purple flower that a number of people around Retama, have planted. We have it both in the grave and around our palm tree. And here it is at Kew Gardens.


Linda always liked that things that were unusual. I don't know what it was, or even what continent it was from, but I have to say it is very pretty.


Nothing like a barbecued pork sandwich topped with loads of chopped red cabbage and carrots, along with a can of elderflower lemonade to make the perfect lunch. After all, when in Rome do as the Romans do, or just stay at home.





In the Princess of Wales Conservatory floating in a pond are the world's largest water lilies with leaves that can grow up to 2 m wide.


Yes, it's a totally post picture, but it's a reconstruction of what actually happened. We were walking along and Linda says what is that smell. Me, knowing that she is the closest relative to a bloodhound, starts sniffing like crazy. When wonders of wonders right next to me is this flower that I can actually smell an unbelievably sweet fragrance emanating from. I was really proud of myself when she came up to me, sniffed it and said, "that's it!" Awesome Bob


And other story to be told. It was getting time to leave according to she who tells me what to do, but she wanted to see the Bonsai House. So were wandering around and she says, "I don't see it anywhere," all the while standing right where I'm taking this picture looking towards where she's standing. Kind and considerate husband that I am I say, "I think that's it right ahead." Laugh Stifling Bob.


Probably not much to look at for most people but we found this really interesting, but not to tomato plants only, note up near the top the green corkscrew. Instead of cages like we tend to use in the states they use those long corkscrew rods to train the tomatoes on, pulling all the suckers off and just leaving a main stem that is noted with huge fruit. Something tells me that based on Linda mentioning that her mom used to ruthlessly pull every sucker off the tomato plant. One or two of ours next spring are going to be trained the same way.


The beauty of flowers never ceases to amaze me.



For any Bonsai fans out there.


Linda really like this variety of cosmos which was planted in a number of areas of the flower gardens. The ones we find that home have flat petals while these have tubular petals. I am sure the hunt for seeds will be on when we get back home.


So we get ready to leave the garden and I see the sign for the garden shop. We had that way and Linda says I have nothing but plants. We monitor a bit and enter a small building that has all kinds of seeds in it. She would like to buy the seeds of a certain plant in the garden but there are none. She's commenting on how small the garden shop is when we turn the corner and see something the size of a small grocery store that is noted with everything gardening imaginable. We ended up with another magnet. Though she didn't bring something else from the garden, but I'm not allowed to mention what it was. I can only say it's tucked deep inside something that's going into her luggage.




There was activity on the decks of the race around the world boats this evening. Tomorrow they will leave London and head for Portugal on the first leg of their journey. We have some things we want to do tomorrow, but hope to be back in time to at least see them sailing down the Thames. Then following in their wake we will be leaving on Monday morning for Amsterdam and the next to last leg of our journey.

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