Friday, 5 January 2018

Kew Gardens in January: Bare Trees and Small Details

One of the best things I spent money on in 2015 (no, that's not a typo, bear with me...) was treating myself to a year's membership of Kew Gardens in London.

Towards the end of 2014 I'd started skipping my Nice Days Out, telling myself I was far too busy for proper days off and ending up ridiculously stressed as a result. So, I resolved to refocus my priorities, make sure I took days just to switch off and relax. I hoped being able to go to Kew on a semi-regular basis would help me achieve that, and it totally did!

I'd never actually been to Kew Gardens before I bought the membership, but I fell in love with it almost immediately and spent lots of wonderful and relaxing days there as the year went on.

I also took approximately a zillion photos, which (in my typical Slow Travel Blogger style) I've finally got round to editing and which I'll be sharing with you guys in occasional blog posts throughout this year.

Kew is a really beautiful, inspiring place to visit and it was a joy seeing it change through the seasons - I hope you'll enjoy seeing snippets of it in these photos, and maybe be tempted to visit it yourself (or even treat yourself to a whole year of visits like I did).

But enough of this preamble, on with the photos!

On a slightly gloomy January day I was completely delighted by the lush little pocket of green that is the Mediterranean Garden (complete with its own little temple).

King William's Temple, Kew Gardens
The Mediterranean Garden at Kew

I strolled around the lake, watching the ripples of the water and the resident birds (not just Canada geese, although there are a fair few of those to be found at Kew). 

 Canada geese by the lake, Kew Gardens
Canada geese swimming on the lake at Kew Gardens
The Sackler Crossing, Kew Gardens

I'd decided to save the famous Palm House for another visit, but even from the outside it's quite captivating...

The Kew Gardens Palm House in January

... and it's guarded by a whole row of mythical beasts!

The View from the Palm House, Kew Gardens

Instead of exploring the Palm House, I took a trip up into the trees - 18 metres above the ground, in fact, along the Treetop Walkway.

Kew Gardens Treetop Walkway in January
The stairs up to the Treetop Walkway at Kew Gardens

Even in January the views were pretty spectacular, and it felt really special being able to walk through the tree canopy.

Kew Gardens Tree Canopy in January

In the winter you appreciate the structure of trees so much more, their bare "bones" making striking silhouettes against the sky. There are some truly magnificent trees at Kew, many of which have plaques at their base so you can read about the type of tree they are and their history in the gardens.

Winter Trees at Kew
The path to the Palm House at Kew Gardens, January

As well as the "architecture" of the gardens (and I'd definitely place those large trees in that category!), there are lots of smaller pleasures to be found at Kew in the winter.

The textures of lichen, and soft carpets of fallen leaves.

Lichen on a tree in Kew Gardens
Carpet of fallen leaves at Kew Gardens

Flashes of colour shining out like a lighthouse in a sea of browns and wintry grey.

A pop of colour at Kew Gardens in January
A pop of colour at Kew Gardens in January

And, of course, snowdrops!

A cluster of January snowdrops at Kew Gardens

Lots more Kew pics coming soon...


Kay said...

I love Kew. I visited it a few years ago with my husband in the spring and would love to see it each season.

Dicky Bird said...

Beautiful! Wonderful pictures.

bairozan said...

What a beautiful and serene place! The Treetop walkway is awesome, it's the first time I see something like that!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Kay - spring is an excellent time to visit Kew! It was really a joy seeing it change through the season, I hope you'll enjoy seeing the changes in my blog posts :)

Dicky Bird - it's so easy to take nice photos of Kew, it's so lovely!

Bairozan - the treetop walkway is very cool! Being so high among the trees is a really special experience.