Friday, May 11, 2007

Kew Gardens

I've been busy with some medical appointments for myself and daughter which meant travelling to see my specialist in London , so things have been pretty hectic.

Then, when we came home, my computer decided to die on me. Luckily, the problem was just the power supply, so its up and running again.

We didn't get a great deal of time in London to do much exploring , but we did manage to visit Kew Gardens and the British Museum very briefly.

Kew Gardens, also known as the Royal Botanic Gardens , Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Its an immense botanic garden and I'm sure I could spend days and days wandering around but we had only a couple of hours so saw a tiny fraction of what is there.

This is part of the Palm House, an immense Victorian glasshouse built between 1844 and 1848.

Its an amazing curved glass and iron building - quite delicate looking . I'd have liked to have had to see inside and photograph the ironwork.

The Palm House was partially restored in the 1950s and fully restored again in the 1980s.
I liked this moody photo of the Palm House , pond, fountain and some Jacob's ladders reaching down. The fountain is of Heracles fighting Achelous the River God -though its difficult to see through the water spouts.

The Orangery was built in 1761 and intended to house citrus fruits [hence the name]. However the light levels were too low due to the solid roof. Later, the end walls were given large glazed doors to let in more light which allowed large plants to grow , although ironically not for orange trees .

Kew Palace is the oldest building in the park and dates back to 1631. It was the home of King George III and Queen Charlotte and where the King suffered his 'mad episodes' that are now thought to be due to the disease porphyria.

The Temple of Arethusa designed by the Scottish architect William Chambers in 1758 gleams like a little jewel among trees.

This tower is called the Campanile - although it probably doesn't qualify as a campanile since it is a chimney rather than a free standing bell tower.

It was designed by the architect and garden designer Decimus Burton

Originally the tower was the chimney for the boilerhouse that powered the heating for the huge glasshouse, the Palm House. The boilerhouse and Palm House were linked by a railway tunnel that ferried coal and ashes between the two buildings. However, the furnaces flooded and the tunnel fell into disuse.

Technorati Tags:

1 comment:

natural attrill said...

How exciting! I havent been to Kew gardens for years, I keep promising to take Toby there, must get around to it soon.
Hope you and your daughters medical appointments went well.