A peacock grazing in Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens

March 14, 2016 2:55 pm

 Kew Gardens Marianne North Gallery, and The Bonsai House.

Kew Gardens has been a source of inspiration of mine for many years. There is always something different happening with every visit. From the seasonal displays such as the annual orchid festival in The Princess of Wales Conservatory from February to March. The blossom walking tours in Spring. The changing botanical drawing, painting and photography exhibitions. The amazing birds that strut around the grounds. The list goes on.

Photo of Orchids at the orchid festival

One of my favourite places at Kew Gardens, is the Marianne North Gallery. Which is situated in the east section of the gardens.

Marianne North was a Victorian biologist and botanical painter. Born in Hastings, England in 1830. North is most well known for her paintings of plants and landscapes. Her widespread travels around the world where she made many plant discoveries. Her writing, and the gallery at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

She produced 832 paintings between 1817 and 1835 travelling to seventeen countries in five continents. Where she documented over 1000 specimens many of which were then widely unknown at the time. She also collected the wood used to display her work and curated the paintings herself at Kew.



Photograph of Bonsai Trees at Kew Gardens

I love the Bonsai House, which is to be found in the furthest southwest corner of Kew Gardens. Bonsai are miniature versions of mature trees or shrubs that are grown in pots and pruned to keep them in the correct proportions.

The cultivation of bonsai started in China about one thousand five hundred years ago. It is thought that they originate from Taoist culture as the followers believed that features in nature such as mountains, rocks and trees contained mystical properties, and that these were more intensely focused in miniature.

Ruth Stafford-Jones gifted most of the Bonsai plants owned by Kew in 2001. Who spent 25 years collecting bonsai trees and seeds while in Japan.

You can find out more about what’s on at Kew by checking their website here.


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