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

Silkworms and mortice joints – the Minka House at Kew

Minka House at KewHave you ever wondered how silkworms make silk? No, me neither. Not until I took Kew Gardens up on their Twelve Days of Christmas free ticket offer and went to see the Minka House – a traditional Japanese House transported to Kew and re-erected by the Japan Minka Re-use and Recycle Association. Continue reading

A Japanese autumn at Kew Gardens

Japanese stone lantern at KewKew Gardens! It’s been years since I last went there. In fact it’s so long ago it might even have been back in the days when you put a penny in the turnstile to get in, (on second thoughts, it wasn’t THAT long ago), days which are unfortunately a distant memory as nowadays Kew has to turn more than a penny to fund its work as an internationally recognised research and education institution with the worlds largest collection of living plants.

What drew me there? Well, once again it’s thanks to the Japan Society which arranged a brilliant tour of the herbarium which I’ll tell you about in my next post.

For the moment I’m going to focus on the Gardens themselves as autumn is a lovely time of year to visit; the trees with their red and gold leaves are picture-perfect – as you can see: Continue reading