Oct 152013
 
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

This visit was planned, but not scheduled.  October weather in Britain can be unpredictable, so the first thing I checked on Day 1 was the weather.  It looked promising, so I got on the Tube and headed out to Kew Gardens.

Kew Gardens is more than just a big park.  It is also a world leading botanical research and preservation operation.  Most of what falls under the heading of “Kew” takes place in other locations.

However, the gardens in southwest London are exceptional in their own right.  This is a mix of formal gardens, research/educational plots, parkland, restaurants, glass houses, and places to just sit and enjoy.  Somehow, they have manged to all of this “right”.  If you appreciate plants, you can easily spend most of a day here.  If you are seriously botanically inclined, you will have no problem spending two full days at Kew Gardens.

(Note:  Because of the way the blog software downsamples the in-stream images, you need to click the images to see them more clearly.)

A pool, off to the side in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. (Click image to enlarge)

1. A pool, off to the side in the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
(Click image to enlarge)

2. Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens. (Click image to enlarge)

2. Kew Palace and Royal Kitchens.
(Click image to enlarge)

3.  On the north side of Kew Gardens, a viewpoint.  Beyond the fence is the River Thames and in the distance you can see Syon Park, the London home of the Duke of Northhumberland.  This spot is the terminus for Syon and Cedar Vistas -- long sightlines that run the width of the gardens.  Syon Vista terminates at the Palm House, one of two great Victorian glass houses.  Cedar Vista terminates at the Pagoda.  Note two of the hundreds of wooden benches spread throughout the gardens. (Click image to enlarge)

3. On the north side of Kew Gardens, a viewpoint. Beyond the fence is the River Thames and in the distance you can see Syon Park, the London home of the Duke of Northhumberland. This spot is the terminus for Syon and Cedar Vistas — long sightlines that run the width of the gardens. Syon Vista terminates at the Palm House, one of two great Victorian glass houses. Cedar Vista terminates at the Pagoda. Note two of the hundreds of wooden benches spread throughout the gardens.
(Click image to enlarge)

4.  About 1/3 of the way down Syon Vista from the viewpoint above.  Palm House can be seen in the distance. (Click image to enlarge)

4. About 1/3 of the way down Syon Vista from the viewpoint above. Palm House can be seen in the distance.
(Click image to enlarge)

5.  Near the location above is the Sackler Crossing, a curved bridge over a small lake.  This award-winning design features a vertical guardrail system which opens up the view without sacrificing safety. (Click image to enlarge)

5. Near the location above is the Sackler Crossing, a curved bridge over a small lake. This award-winning design features a vertical guardrail system which opens up the view without sacrificing safety.
(Click image to enlarge)

 

6.  A view from the Sackler Crossing demonstrating the impression of openness.  If you look closely at the bottom right, you'll see a small disk between every metal upright.  This is a lamp, so the entire bridge is illuminated with a gentle glow from below.  A brilliant design. (Click image to enlarge)

6. A view from the Sackler Crossing demonstrating the impression of openness. If you look closely at the bottom right, you’ll see a small disk between every metal upright. This is a lamp, so the entire bridge is illuminated with a gentle glow from below. A brilliant design.
(Click image to enlarge)

The dedication on one of the benches.  Sponsorship of a bench (for 10 years -- roughly the life expectancy of the wooden benches) is 5,000 pounds. (Click image to enlarge)

The dedication on one of the benches. Sponsorship of a bench (for 10 years — roughly the life expectancy of the wooden benches) is 5,000 pounds.
(Click image to enlarge)

8.  Visitors on a path, seen from the Xstrata Treetop Walkway. (Click image to enlarge)

8. Visitors on a path, seen from the Xstrata Treetop Walkway.
(Click image to enlarge)

9.  The Japanese Gateway. (Click image to enlarge)

9. The Japanese Gateway.
(Click image to enlarge)

10.  The Pagoda, seen from the Cedar Vista in the afternoon sun. (Click image to enlarge)

10. The Pagoda, seen from the Cedar Vista in the afternoon sun.
(Click image to enlarge)

11.  A panoramic view from the Kew Palace to the Orangery Restaurant. (Click image to enlarge)

11. A panoramic view Kew Palace on the left and the Orangery Restaurant in the center.
(Click image to enlarge)

 Photo Notes:
  1. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 14mm | ISO 800 | 1/55 | f/10
  2. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 18-55mm @ 19.6mm | ISO 800 | 1/50 | f/10
  3. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 18-55mm @ 52.7mm | ISO 400 | 1/450 | f/8
  4. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 18-55mm @ 55mm | ISO 400 | 1/220 | f/5.6
  5. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 18-55mm @ 18mm | ISO 400 | 1/480 | f/5.6
  6. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 18-55mm @ 18mm | ISO 400 | 1/480 | f/5.6
  7. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 18-55mm @ 46.3mm | ISO 800 | 1/170 | f/4.5
  8. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 18-55mm @ 40.7mm | ISO 400 | 1/25 | f/5.6
  9. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 18-55mm @ 19.6mm | ISO 800 | 1/200 | f/5.6
  10. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 18-55mm @ 18mm | ISO 800 | 1/450 | f/5.6
  11. Fujifilm X-Pro1 | Fuji 18-55mm @ 22.3mm | ISO 400 | 1/60 | f/11.0

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