Kew Gardens 2017 – cherry blossom in abundance!

It’s still only the end of March, yet spring has come so early the cherry blossom is already in flower. I’ve been down to Kew Gardens to check it out and it’s good news all round – plenty of trees in full flower and plenty still in bud with blossom still to come. It’s turning into a vintage year! Continue reading

Commune with the bees in the Hive in Kew Gardens

The Hive at Kew

So what exactly is the hive? Well, it’s a new attraction at Kew that hopefully will help visitors understand the life of the bee. It’s a gleaming seventeen-metre-high aluminium structure that’s like a beehive you can walk into. Plus it’s an immersive, multi-sensory experience which is driven by activity in a real beehive in the gardens that activates lights and music. With me so far?  Continue reading

Amazing Orchids at Kew

IMG_2284Every year, in February, Kew Gardens puts on its famous orchids display in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. It’s wonderful to visit and spend some time in the damp warmth of a tropical rain forest while outside the glass it’s bone-freezingly cold, and let the vivid colours and fantastic shapes of the orchids take you to a different world. Continue reading

Just for a change: magnolias at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens magnoliaWhen I was at Kew Gardens last week I took at look at the little blackboard by the entrance on which they write what’s worth seeing that day. It said magnolias, and I have to admit it was right. I’ve never thought of going to Kew for the magnolias before, but they are spectacular, so I thought I’d share some pictures with you. Continue reading

The Japanese Landscape at Kew – the definitive tour

Kew Gardens Japanese Landscape It’s all too easy to visit gardens without knowing much about them and come away still knowing very little. That’s what I’ve often done with the Japanese landscape garden at Kew. But not any more; thanks to a tour led by one of Kew’s specialist horticulturists, I’ve learned a massive amount and I’m going to share it with you now. It’s the expert’s guide, straight from the horse’s mouth.  Continue reading

Kew Gardens in Summer

Kew gardens Japanese Landscape

Last week I took a trip down to the other end of town for a day out at Kew Gardens, visiting the lovely Japanese Landscape garden and Kew Palace. I’ve never visited the palace before (it’s actually inside Kew Gardens and they only recently changed the rules so you could get in without paying extra) but I reckoned it would be perfect on a hot day. Continue reading

A Lesson in Bonsai

Bonsai at Kew GardensOnce again the Japan Society came up trumps with a great trip to Kew Gardens to learn about bonsai. And again I have to make a confession – though I’ve been to Kew a lot and was sure I’d seen all the Japanese stuff there (Chokushi Mon, Minka House, Japanese Landscape Garden – done!) I’ve never been to look at the bonsai.  Continue reading

Best cherry blossom in London at Kew Gardens

Cherry blossom at KewYes, it’s official – having just spent a wonderful sunny day at Kew Gardens looking at the cherry blossom I can confirm that it’s definitely the best place in London to see cherry blossom. And it’s in bloom now, so get down there as fast as you can and do my… Continue reading

London Parks Cherry Blossom Top Five

Kensington Gardens cherry blossom Welcome to my London cherry blossom top five guide, the definitive illustrated guide to the best cherry blossom viewing spots in the capital, from Kew Gardens to Greenwich Park. And if you want to know when the blossom’s in bloom, you can find out from my new When can you see cherry blossom in London? guide.  Continue reading