I am losing the will to live regarding MS OneDrive and Google Drive and syncing all the photos from my [android] phone. My problem is, I think, that I have too many accounts and have no real clue how any of them work. Subsequently I had a word with my fourteen-year-old nephew who is much more knowledgeable and found out what the going rate might be for some digital support cossetting and magical filing ‘in the cloud’.
As it is I have been meaning to write this update but was getting so frustrated with the aforementioned that it was becoming far too tedious to even contemplate. It has also been an extremely busy few weeks – again, a case of nothing for weeks and then everything happening at once.
The Temperate House
Dragon on the Pagoda
However, after a hiatus of two years, and one thing I can tell you about, Paul and I managed to make the most of one of my 50th birthday vouchers! Obviously travelling out of the local vicinity has been curtailed until recently and although the majority of people are sensible there is a percentage that are idiots – whatever the situation, and always will be. However, we found that it was fine in London last week. We stayed in the ‘leafy suburb’ of Chiswick so it was pretty civilised anyway, but even when we went on the Tube (3 stops…. and so expensive!) everyone wore masks and kept at a civilised distance. The hotel was set-up well too, as were all the coffee shops and restaurants. It goes to show, though, how much money is spent on food and drink even when only away for 36 hours. I would estimate that we spent over £100 on eating out and regular beverages. Madness! Still, we haven’t been able to do anything like that for months and months so in the grand scheme of things it all levels out. We both enjoyed Kew Gardens but the six hours of walking around (including getting there and back to the hotel) suddenly kicked in and my legs and ankles were very tired! Actually, the next day I did feel a bit sore. But, then again, that was probably the most consistent walking I have done for months too.
So, here are some keys facts about Kew Gardens:
50,000 living plants to be found across a UNESCO World Heritage site.
14,000 trees in the Arboretum
The Kew and Wakehurst sites house a living plant collection that is the most diverse collections of any botanic garden in the world. A living plant collection is a group of plants grown especially for research, conservation, education purposes or ornamental display.
The plant collections started in the late 1700s and today there are over 68,000 accessions.
Kew Gardens date back to the early 18th century, as a royal palace… with key personalities associated in the early days:
1759: Princess Augusta, mother of King George III, founds a nine-acre botanic garden within the pleasure grounds at Kew.
1768: Joseph Banks sent seeds to Kew whilst on Captain Cook's voyage to South Seas and became Kew's first unofficial director upon his return.
1772: Francis Masson, Kew's first plant collector, travelled to South Africa and returned with thousands of plants.
1773: Capability Brown created the Hollow Walk, now the Rhododendron Dell…
The Temperate House at 628ft (191 metres) is the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse; “As temperate plants, all the species contained within its walls need to live in conditions above 10oC to survive. Despite being the foundation of much life on Earth, many of these plants are under threat”. The Temperate House was designed by architect Decimus Burton and iron-founder Richard Turner. The Temperate House, opened in 1862, and is Grade I-listed. It covers 4,880 square metres, has a staggering 15,000 panes of glass and is 19 metres high at its tallest point.
Impressive it might be and full of weird and wonderful plants, but my favourite part of the whole site was theKitchen Garden [link]. I feel quite confident that my small veggie patch complemented the Kew ethos: Crop Rotation, Companion Planting and No Dig method!
Every spring I might have a surfeit of seedlings but cannot compete with Kew’s statistics from 2018 when they grew over 130 different cultivars of vegetable, more than 60 different edibles and sowed over 2000 seeds! I probably cultivate similar numbers but in WEEDS!
The Temperate House is the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse;