Kew Gardens is pretty good these days at putting on regular themed events, their current one is Plantasia. They have a giant man shaped planter filled with medicinal plants (photo above and below, the below photo is of plants in the giant’s heart).
A workshop for kids on how to make ‘lotions and potions’, in this case comfrey balm for bruises, although I think they may also do bath bombs (if you’re thinking of going, make sure you buy tickets for it at the entrance gate, I saw quite a few families turned away as they didn’t have tickets).
They also had the coolest barefoot walk, to quote Z
Which he said about a million times. As the name of the walk suggest, you go barefoot, balancing on logs, walking across different surfaces, paddling in water and getting extremely muddy, it is fantastic fun. (They also have taps to wash your feet off at the end).
Boy Lacer literally ankle deep in mud
I joined in to (not the most appropriate skirt to do it in)
The muddy fun helped compensate for the number of dangerous wild animals Boy Lacer came across (not pictured – squirrels).
I love Kew Gardens, it is quite expensive to get into these days but they’ve got a lot of financial issues at the moment, so I don’t begrudge them the money too much and they are trying with their themed events. When the kids were very small (ie preschoolers), I had an annual membership and we used to go all the time and although it’s now difficult to get the kids to Kew any time other than the school holidays (our weekends are packed with dance lessons and me working), I wouldn’t mind getting an annual membership again just for me, as I might as well make use of these unsociable hours I’m working (the kids are free to get in anyway) but the annual membership is extremely expensive these days, so I’ll just have to keep dreaming. Meanwhile I’ll keep supporting them with the occasional visit and inevitable purchase of at least something from their very good shops (tote bag lovers, their tote bags – such as this one, are particularly good at the moment). I ended up buying a tea towel, now I am definitely not a souvenir tea towel person, but who can resist a tea towel with a vintage map of where they live.
And finally (as an added bonus to encourage any crafters to go and visit Kew), I finally went and visited a fabric shop nearby that I heard about from Nicole, years ago but I’ve never got round to visiting before now, Tikki Patchwork Shop, which is near the gardens. I’m trying to make a switch from Anchor thread (which is lovely and very easy for me to get locally) to DMC thread (which is not so easy to get), for reasons that will hopefully become apparent later on this summer and Tikki sells DMC thread. They’ve also got a lovely looking, very comprehensive selection of fabric (more so than my more local fabric haunt) and some great bits and pieces that aren’t the easiest to find elsewhere. Ooh now if I did have that Kew annual membership, I think I’d be popping into Tikki far more often, as it is at the moment, it’s a bit far to go to, just for the shop alone, so maybe that’s another bonus point for my bank balance that I can’t!