gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


UK Trip Day 8: July 4, 2003

July 06, 2003 @ 18:19 By: gordon Category: Travelling, UK Trip 2003

Rob and I packed outselves off to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and spent about 4 hours walking around the 300 acres of the Gardens.

The gardens include everything from meadows to a temperate climate greenhouse to a tropical climate greenhouse to a walkway in the treetops. It takes in Japanese stone gardens and bamboo growing outdoors. In short, there’s almost everything, even various aquaria.

Upon arrival at the train station near the Gardens, we found a single sign pointing in the approximate direction of the entrance. It was only sheer luck that we happened to see the ornate wrought iron gates in the distance and decided that they most likely belonged to the Gardens.

The tropical greenhouses were very impressive. Huge palms and tiny little plants. There was a spiral staircase leading up to the roof of the greenhouse which afforded an amazing overview of the place.

In the basement were all sorts of aquaria from fresh water to brackish to salt water. Tropical fish and corals were everywhere.

Being a tropical greenhouse, the humidity was somewhere in the neighbourhood of 110%. How it managed to not be raining inside is an excellent question.

From this greenhouse, we headed off across the 300 acres of land. We admired the rose gardens and other flowers. The trees were equally impressive. Some of the oak trees were absolutely huge, measuing over a metre across at the base.

The Gardens run along the River Thames, so we had a chance to watch a couple of rowing shells on the river. The tide was out, so the water level was very low.

Next we came across a walkway through the treetops. Made of industrial scafholding, the walkway wound its way between the sequoia pines and other tall trees. Bird houses and feeds were up here and from here we saw the most amazingly brightly coloured bird that I think was a pheasant.

After the treetops, we came across some peacocks roaming the grounds. Big birds with horrible calls. At least they make up for the calls with their plummage, even if we didn’t see any of them spread their tail feathers.

By now we’d been on the go for several hours, so a short stop for food and then we were off to see the Japanese rock gardens and then the temperate greenhouse.

The temperate greenhouse was not as hot or humid as the tropical greenhouse, but the plants were just as impressive. We also saw koi in a couple of ponds in the greenhouse.

Our last stop was the gift shop, of course, we were bought souvenirs.

From the gardens, we headed home and called it a day.

Click here to view pictures from Day 8.

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