The Hive at Kew Gardens – and you had to get up quite early to see it as unpopulated – though not all to myself – as this. One photographer already on site (for The Mail? maybe…) was trying to get a 360°panorama by taking several photographs – to be stitched together later – but deserted it was not (it is his tripod you can see in the glass porthole). And of course it is popular – it is an impressive structure with an emotive story to tell.
It is almost transparent from some angles and near opaque with the turn of the head – the honeycomb mass of aluminium struts then obscuring the view – and from a distance you can see the ‘inner chamber’, where we can look up, down and through, at the heart of the structure though even this looks to be criss-crossed with silver. The auditory element is successful even though it was an overcast chillish and earlyish morning so perhaps the hives were just prepping themselves for a busy day ahead. Children were racing around the looping pathways between the levels and this added to the buzz. The lights react to the level of activity in the actual hives and there are evening openings where the effect would be all the greater.
The meadow around is blooming beautifully and it really is hard to believe it was a construction site not so many months ago.
This was mid-March …
And May ….
Broad Walk Borders
The other new star – though set to have a longer lasting impact on the Kew landscape (The Hive is in residence until 2017) – is the double herbaceous border, the grand Broad Walk Borders, with planting only completed this year. An impressive thing it will be though the planting is in many parts quite naturally immature. Still, much to like and a lot of colour in places – the ribbons of planting will knit together and bulk up in time and it will be an impressive sight. I’ll read the booklet I bought in the shop for more insights as this is expresses the science going on at Kew as well as visual experience.
The planting plans are given on the following displays along the length of the border –
Which left me skirting through the grass borders to the Davies Alpine House, through the Rock Garden on my way to the Salvia Border (really just getting going) and Family Order Beds before tripping back to the Victoria Gate for an exit (shopping, gardening, cooking to do…) with these amuse-bouche to keep you in step with me.