Betula – no species given


River Birch, Betula nigra, N.America


Betula albo-sinenis – Chinese Red-Barked Birch


Chinese red-barked birch, Betula albo-sinensis var septentrionalis


Zelkovia schneideriana, from China


Castanea sativa, Sweet or Spanish Chestnut


Fallen Eucaplytus



Bishop Pine, Picea muricata
California, NW Mexico


Stone Pine, Pinus Pinea – 1969


Salix alba – White Willow

A walk through Kew, enjoying a bright chill day that the BBC weatherman assured me would hold nothing but rain upon more rain. Plus there was a parking space by the Victoria Gate entrance, so there was no excuse to call in. My rules!

I’ve recently explored  (deep breath..) the woodland area by the Temple of Aeolus, the Rock Garden and Alpine glasshouse, grass borders, family beds, the rose garden and Palm House, the Japanese Landscape and the Minka House, by the Bamboo garden and the Rhododendron Walk – the Xstrata treetop walk, Mediterranean Landscape and seen the early preparations in the Princess of Wales Conservatory for the Orchid exhibition (starts Saturday). Therefore I headed out towards the Orangery and the red Kew Palace, and followed the river down to the view of Syon House and meandered back, by the Sackler Crossing, through tree-studded expanses.

The trees are the stars of the gardens at this time of year – there are jewels and gems of colour to be had, but the bare bones of the deciduous trees (and pines) made strong silhouettes against blue skies, green lawns and scudding clouds. And there are some remarkable trees in their collection.



I found by chance, one or two of the most notable examples – the chestnut leaved Oak, Quercus castaneifolia, and a selection of Stone Pines, Pinus pinea – Zelkova too, and the afternoon sunshine picked out the bark of very many fine birches and eucalyptus.

I plan on getting back to Kew for the Orchid Display in the Princess of Wales conservatory and hope to get out to other gardens in the next few weeks to give the seasons a chance to turn at Kew, so that there will be fresh and exciting things to see. The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey in Hampshire beckon….