Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and the EEWI

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Nothing quite cures a headache like a bit of outdoors, and I've learnt this weekend that London has its fair share of outdoors! I've also learnt this week that:

1) Bus drivers are really grumpy when the weather is particularly bad
2) There are many wonderful wide-open spaces in London waiting to be discovered
3) Working until 11pm every night is Very Bad Indeed
4) A little cake goes a long way to lifting the spirits
5) I've really gone off TV in a big way.

But back to Kew.

Who would have thought that you'd find something as wonderful as this in London Town? Yes, the skies were a bit grey, but just look! I've been reading a lot of gardening theory lately as I work on my essay proposal for university purposes (a work in progress that I've been doing on and off these last few years in England) and it was really lovely to finally make the trek across town to Kew Gardens.

But first: Let Them Eat Cake. I made the trip with the EEWI ladies as this month we did something rather different for our coffee morning. By the by, that's a chocolate banana cake. Doesn't it look decadent?

I chose a rather delicious chocolate and pear muffin (which I couldn't finish) and we sipped on coffee and discussed quilting (as you do) at the Orange Tree. The Orange Tree is a sort of canteen-style dining area, but it's much nicer as you have the option to sit outside and admire the surrounds as you fill up on energy for the long walk around.

And so, once fuelled and ready to go, we gathered our forces and split ways to explore the lovely Kew Gardens. Karin was an exceptional guide as she took us from greenhouse to greenhouse, along paths and through walks. The plant above is claimed to be the oldest living pot plant in the world (it made its way to Kew in 1770) - and it's from home, South Africa.

Doesn't it have the most wonderful texture?

I particularly wanted to see the waterlillies that were 'so big a child could sit on them'. No way. No way.

It just goes to show that you really do have to believe, sometimes. Because the impossible isn't really that impossible. Look at how enormous they are!

The colours and textures all work together beautifully to create a very inspirational palette indeed. I particularly love these colours and the hue variations with the light yellows and lilacs against the dark crocodile black and green.

And these. Well. These are David LivingStones. That's what I called them; they're actually stone plants (Lithops) - living stones - and they disguise themselves as pebbles to avoid being eaten by predators. I thought they looked like brains. Who would want to eat brains? They sold these in the Kew Shop and I was oh-so-tempted to take a few David LivingStones home with me for my desk.

All in all, a jolly fine day - and a lovely outing about town with the EEWI ladies who always seem to be in such good spirits. It was the perfect break from a series of Quite Horrible Days, and gave me a boost of energy to get through the last of the project I was working on. Back to normal working days for a while now, hurrah!

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