Bloomin’ Marvelous!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the silly title but I finally made time to go to one of my favorite places in London, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. For those who don’t know, Kew Gardens, whose history dates back to the 1700s,  occupies over 300 acres in south-west London and in 2003 was deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Typically when we visit as a family, we wind up spending all our time at the amazing playgrounds and don’t get a chance to explore the floral attractions for which Kew is famous. This time was different though as I was armed with a camera and a record 3 hours of freedom! In the winter, Kew is obviously not in full bloom but there’s still the winter garden, several glasshouses and the beautiful Princess of Wales Conservatory which is currently home to the “Tropical Extravaganza” exhibit showcasing wild orchids and other Amazonian flower displays. I took lots of photos,  uploaded below, to give you a mini-tour of the beautiful gardens. My only regret is that I missed seeing the resident iguana that lives in the conservatory – I hope nothing happened to him :)  If you want more information, check out Kew’s website http://www.kew.org/.

Snowdrops in the winter garden

I love a good cactus but this one looks quite menacing!

Wild Orchids in the Tropical Extravaganza exhibit

From the Tropical Extravaganza exhibit

The colors are so vivid that they almost look fake!

A flower arrangement amongst water lillies

Yellow is my favorite color for flowers

The "Turner Oak" dates back to 1783

The double coconut palm yields the largest seed in the world

So this where my vanilla ice cream comes from?

Witch hazel

More of my favorite color....

The Chilean wine palm in Temperate House is the world's largest indoor plant

Finally, spring is almost here!

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