I have an annual membership to Kew Gardens but I tend not to use it in the winter months, as I am under the perhaps mistaken impression that there’s not that much colour, as you can see from my photos taken today, I was wrong. It helped though that the Orchid Festival is currently on in one of the conservatories!
I had actually gone to buy my aunt and uncle a pot plant from Kew, they like that sort of thing and as it happens the Kew gift shops are very good (and seem to get even better with every visit). They have a fantastic little garden centre, which is particularly good for cacti and succulents and herbs to in the warmer months, every time I go to Kew with the kids it’s like a role reversal every time we go near the garden centre “No mummy, you’re NOT buying another plant. MUMMY you said that we weren’t even going to go near the shop this time” and so on and so on. But as almost worth a visit on its own the shop is, I couldn’t pass up a little walk through the Gardens, even though I knew today was going to be really busy.
I got off the bus at Lion Gate and walked from there, in a round about manner, taking in the Prince of Wales conservatory with the orchids (and the cacti and succulents, which actually I prefer) before ending up at the shop at Victoria Gate. I was playing with the Hipstamatic app again and I am quite pleased with some of the shots, particularly the Hammer Horror stylie tree (1st top left) and some of the foliage shots. I was paying more attention to the architecture to this time, particularly the archway (3rd from left, top row) and the temple (2nd row, 1st right). I’ve seen both countless times but I’ve never really paid that much attention to them, so this time I actually stopped and read the signs. The arch was apparently a mock Roman ruin built in 1759-60 but as well as being a folly it actually had a function as it used to carry a carriage way across the road next to the Gardens. And I learnt that the temple’s name is the Temple of Aeolus, which was interesting as me and Boy Lacer are currently reading a book where Aeolus features quite heavily. The temple was built for a Princess Augusta in 1760-63.
So definitely shopping and pleasure.