A beautiful cycle ride along the towpath from Teddington Lock, past Petersham Meadows, Richmond and on towards Kew, with Syon House on the opposite bank. 12km enjoying the start of autumn. Clocks back this weekend, and the coldest October day in 10 years, so hats, gloves and scarves were the order of the day. Isleworth, in the sunshine, was beautiful, such a treat to be on the towpath in light like this.

Kew, as always, is a joy. So much to see and so different from season to season. I’m mindful of a workshop I’ll be hosting at the end of next week, a grandly titled ‘Winter Border Masterclass’ and am grateful for the beauty and rhythm of the Broad Walk Borders, for so many inspirational combinations. Grasses, seedheads galore, and so much beautiful contrast.

This took us, after a spot of lunch, to the Temperate House and my, has it come on – so much bulk and volume since it first opened, the impact is transformational. And I am pleased to see, it was very popular with the visitors. And in the Temperate House, I have a new favourite Coleus, perhaps you can guess which …

A set of actors were guiding a large group through each of the area, explaining the history of many of the plants. I left when they were lamenting the loneliness of the single cycad in its genus, hoping that one day a mate will be found. Holly Walk subsequently  enchanted and I have catalogued pretty much every specimen in these annals. A good crop of fruit despite the chill start to the season.

This took us on out of the gates and on a cycle ride back through Kew, enjoying at least an hour at the fabulous Lloyds of Kew second-hand and antiquarian bookshop (£54 later but pleased as punch with my new titles) and via The Maids of Honour for cake, home….

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