Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome! Here life is beautiful. Even the orchids are beautiful…. The view from Kew.





IMG_7116IMG_7130IMG_7133IMG_7138Such a cold wet blustery day – outside – but inside the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew this afternoon, life is indeed Beautiful. Especially the orchestra Orchids!

The annual orchid festival – Alluring Orchids – started last weekend and goes on until March. It is a riot of colour. Some of these huge displays seem to be regular features, skyscraping, fantastical and just as welcome as the newer pieces.

All these set pieces are crafted around the soaring metal architecture of the Glasshouse, focusing around the large pond in the aquaria section and the walkways on the upper levels. Satellites radiating orchirds and tall columns of flower and tropical leaf link all the different heights – with hummingbirds, bees and beetles and a soundtrack of tropical birdsong too.

Despite some familiar pieces – and allowing this might be your first visit, the whole thing is still vibrant, fresh, extremely colourful, inventive and imaginative. You’ll probably learn a thing or two as well. It ought to swell the coffers at Kew during these ‘off’ months, before spring kicks in properly.

I met with a friend who is working her way through the different areas of the gardens as part of her Diploma course and envy her two months interned within this particular glasshouse, in winter. And being involved in setting all of this chicanery up too. Clambering up teetering-tall ladders in the roof space to put together these towering displays must be be fun and every week, it will add all manner of rare specimens to the plant identification tests. You won’t get a tan but it is almost as good as a holiday surely!

I was looking out for the ultra-violet showcase in the Film Room, but must have walked around it and missed it. I’ll look this out on my next visit as I am sure to be back.

Plenty of folk enjoying the carnival today and I hope it will prove as popular an event as in previous years. Too wet to explore outside today beyond a peep into the woodland gardens, freshly treated with dark bracken-mulch from the New Forest (nicely acidic I’m told). Another day eh?.

A few links here for the event itself, the entire lyrics for the Cabaret piece to which I allude (one of my all time favourite musicals) and a slideshow of all of the pictures to finish…









From Cabaret….

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!
Fremde, etranger, stranger.
Gluklich zu sehen, je suis enchante,
Happy to see you, bleibe, reste, stay.Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome
Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret[Spoken]
Meine Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs,
Ladies and Gentlemen! Guden Abend, bon soir,
We geht’s? Comment ca va? Do you feel good?
I bet you do!
Ich bin euer Confrecier; je suis votre compere…
I am you host!

Und sagen
Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome
Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret

Leave you troubles outside!
So – life is disappointing? Forget it!
We have no troubles here! Here life is beautiful…
The girls are beautiful…
Even the orchestra is beautiful!

You see? I told your the orchestra is beautiful!

And now presenting the Cabaret Girls!
Rosie! (Rosie is so called because of the color of her
cheeks.) Lulu! (Oh, you like Lulu? Well, too bad!
So does Rosie.) Frenchie! (You know I like to order Frenchie
on the side. On your side Frenchie! Just kidding!)
Texas! (Yes, Texas is from America!But she’s a very
cunning linguist!) Fritzie!
(Oh, Fritzie, please, will you stop that!
Already this week we have lost two waiters,
a table and three bottles of champagne up there.)
and Helga! (Helga is the baby. I’m just like a father
to her. So when she’s bad, I spank her. And she’s
very, very, very, very, very bad.)

Rosie, Lulu, Frenchie, Texas, Fritzie… Und Helga.
Each and every one a virgin! You don’t believe me?
Well, don’t take my word for it. Go ahead- try Helga!

Outside it is winter. But in here it’s so hot.
Every night we have to battle with the girls to keep
them from taking off all their clothings. So don’t go
away. Who knows? Tonight we may lose the battle!

Wir sagen
Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome
Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret!

We are here to serve you!
And now presenting the Kit Kat Boys:
Here they are!
Bobby! Victor!
Or is it
Victor! and Bobby…
You know, there’s really only one wat to tell the
I’ll show you later.
Hans (Oh Hans, go easy on the sauerkraut!)
Herrman (You know what’s funny about Herrman?
There’s nothing funny about Herrman!)
And, finally, the toast og Mayfir, Fraulein Sally Bowles!


Hello, darlings!


Bliebe, reste, stay!


Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome

That’s Victor.

Im Cabaret, au Cabaret,
Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!
Fremde, etranger, stranger.

Hello, stranger!

Gluklich, zu sehen, je suis enchante,

Enchante, Madame.[All]
Happy to see you,
Bliebe, reste, stay!Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!
Fremde, etranger, stranger.
Gluklich zu sehen, je suis enchante,
Happy to see you,
Bliebe, reste, stay!
Wir sagen
Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome
Im Cabaret, au Cabaret, to Cabaret

Thank you!
Bobby, Victor, Hans, Herrman, Rosie, Lulu, Frenchie,
Texas, Fritzie, Helga, Sally and Me!
Welcome to the Kit Kat Klub!



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