Kew Gardens

The 300-acre Kew Gardens - or, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew - have existed on this riverside site northeast of Richmond town  for a couple of centuries in their present form. They stand on the combined sites of two former Royal estates, developed as ornamental gardens and later bequeathed to the nation. They owe their fame mainly to the efforts of Sir Joseph Banks, director of the gardens under King George III, who established a collection of rare and exotic species of flowers, shrubs and trees from all over the world. Part of the landscaping and design of the gardens was by "Capability" Brown, landscape gardener to the elite in the Georgian era.

The exotic collection has grown and flourished under subsequent directors, who have contributed some of the largest and most famous glasshouses in the world, notably the Palm House and Temperate House. The gardens also contain buildings dating from the era of private Royal ownership, including the Orangery and the Pagoda. Modern buildings include the multi-environment Princess of Wales conservatory. The grounds themselves feature formal gardens, ornamental lakes, themed areas (such as a rhododendron grove and a bamboo plantation) and areas of woodland, as well as a visitor centre, shops and cafes. The grounds and nearly all the buildings are open to the public all year round. There is a £5 entrance fee nowadays but historically admission could be gained for one penny, a situation which continued up until the 1970s.

My intention is to add to this page from time to time, with images from various parts of the garden and various seasons of the year.

Click on any thumbnail image in this gallery to display the corresponding full size image. The images are access protected through a cgi script to prevent hotlinking. If you encounter problems while trying to view the full size images, please read the access advice page.

February 1998

Formal gardens east of the Palm House

Princess of Wales Conservatory, outside and in

Parkland setting towards the centre of the grounds

The Palm House

June 2001

The palm house and Kew museum, both seen across the formal pond

The area around the formal pond, including the fountain

Scenes around the rock garden just south of the Princess of Wales pavilion

The area around the Grass Garden and Dukes Garden in the southeast corner of the grounds

Exotic plants and specimen trees around the Orangery

Specimen trees and grasslands near Broadwalk

A Japanese garden (part of the 2001 Japan exhibition), and on into the rhododendron grove

The rhododendron grove at Kew, one of the garden's largest features, and seen at its best in late May and early June.

More scenes from the rhododendron grove

The Pagoda Vista and cherry walk

The Lake

More scenes from around the Lake, including a swan with her young

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  The Royal Botanic Gardens website

This page last updated 22nd December 2002