Looking for a January Getaway? A tropical holiday? Try Kew Gardens


A dull day, yesterday, with a chill wind and a fine mist of rain oftentimes so it was glorious to spend a little time inside the Princess of Wales Conservatory in Kew Gardens – plenty of humidity and generously warm temperatures and what a collection of plants in the tropical section here – orchids and other flowering plants of course, bold, glossy architectural leaves on all sides, carnivorous plants, bromeliads and Tillandsia (air plants) in flower and colourful climbers heading up into the rafters.

And this little chappie below – who have me quite a start as I was looking up with my camera and not where I was going. Apparently there is a pair of them though after so many visits, this is our first introduction.

I had come to Kew to join the Meet the Experts Tour – focusing this week on Snowdrops – and my account of the guided walk through the Rock Garden and into the Alpine Yard – with research fellow Aaron P Davis and the Superintendent of the Rock Garden, Tom Freeth – follows. If I do get to the RHS Early Spring Show, I may be minded to treat myself to a Galanthus or two, now I know so much more about how to look after them well – and which varieties I should be choosing. Watch this space, as they say …

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