Friday, October 24, 2014

The Royal Kew: Duke's Garden and Treetop Walkway

               After visiting Dave's Alpine garden I went to a walled garden that formerly was the private garden for Cambridge Cottage. The Duke's Garden is one of the lesser-known corners of Kew, overlooked by many visitors to the Royal Botanic Gardens. 

I saw the Cambridge Cottage in a beautiful English garden, where an inhabitant was the first Duke of Cambridge after whom the garden takes its name. The Cambridge Cottage and a garden was added to the Kew Gardens in 1904. Now there is the Kew Gardens Gallery that shows exhibitions of botanical art by past and contemporary artists.

I've read that Cambridge Cottage is licensed to host civil wedding ceremonies and receptions. But at the moment when I've been there were not ceremonies. 

Large lawns and seasonal beds, which were looking very colorful at this time of the year. The beds framed manicured lawns. 

I liked the composition of autumn flowers as Aruncus dioicus, Сosmos sulphureus, Astilbe, Rudbeckia, Sedum, Bergenia and herbs and a variety of violet lavender species and cultivars.

I've seen the ‘exotic bed’ that was made for seeing just how hardy some tender plants are, such as tree ferns, ornamental bananas, cannas and gingers  that thrive in warm conditions.

Near the Temperate House (which was closed for renovation) an Arboretum is. It includes a 59 foot high (20 m) Treetop Walkway known as the Xstrata Walkway. I wanted to climb up there! They said that Treetop Walkway offers spectacular views of the treetops and the gardens below. 

  The Walkway itself is quite wide with very substantial rails. Look at the picture to see people on the walkway it's gives you a guide to scale.


From the height of the Treetop Walkway the crowns are clearly visible especially I liked the branches of chestnut trees with fruits. The most wonderful views in Arboretum are the Mediterranean Garden, the Rhododendrons (they did not bloom in autumn), and the bamboo collection.

I imagined what the birds can see from such a height. I loved to walk of the Treetop Walkway!


Would you like to climb up this Walkway and to see the tree crowns as the birds see them?

To be continued...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

GBBD in October

         It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day now. As usually October is colder than September. On October, 2  the temps suddenly dropped from +19 C to +8 C. Although the night temps are not very low, we had the first frost. What plants are hardy or aren't? The most of tender plants as dahlia, begonia, lily, hymenocallis were moved in my greenhouse at the end of September but this did not save them and frost killed their flowers. On the other hand some plants outside were more hardy and still grow and bloom! 
Take a look at them: it's 'Swany' (polyanthus rose), 'Folklore' (climbing rose), the last flower of phlox and sedum.

I've written about my experience in clematis growing and said that some of them did not bloom at all. I was wrong! The blue one decided to bloom and feels well in cold October.

What a treat to look at the apple tree! Full of juice apples ripen and fall, and I have to pick them up for storage.

The Potentilla bush is colorful with its yellow flowers, Parthenocissus is dark red and loses leaves. I've also found two flowers of Cosmos that I had not seen in summer, they are so pretty!

Novi-belgii 'Mont Blanc' asters grew all summer and are in bloom in October, I think they need a bit of cold to flower. Ligularia was moved this spring and it started to bloom very late so has flowers till now. Helenium blooms late this year as well. Aronia is full of ripened black sour berries, perhaps birds will eat all of them next month. Poor little autumn crocus! They unexpectedly sprouted and were so nice within high grass in a dark corner, but... frost killed them.

I enjoy looking at parsley, is green and fresh and I hope will be able to harvest it till snowfall.

I've made apple jam and on the terrace we had tea from mugs that are Helene's gift: they have pictures of her beautiful garden and the words:

 Please, have tea, apples, some jam, help yourself!

Does summer continue in your place? What plants are still in bloom? How do you prepare them to cold weather?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Royal Botanic Kew Gardens

I've watched a movie about famous Kew gardens and always wanted to see it by my own. On my holidays I finally went to southwest London and arrived to Victoria gates of Royal Botanic Kew gardens. Before my holidays I learned that:
       it's an internationally important botanical research and education institution, it  employs 750 staff
       its living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants 
       in 2003 the gardens were put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites 
       Kew Gardens has its own police force, which has been in operation since 1847
       in 1840 the gardens were adopted as a national botanical garden in large part due to the efforts of the Royal Horticultural Society

Firstly I came to the Palm house that was built in 1844 and was the first large-scale structural use of wrought iron. It is considered "the world's most important surviving Victorian glass and iron structure."

I took pictures of the front garden where different flowers were planted: cannas, ageratum, tagetes, pelargonium, begonias, amaranthus and then I took pictures of the large lake in front of Palm house. The composition of flowers was very colorful, especially I liked blue ageratum.

Then I went to see the Grass Garden. I've read on the Aukse's blog my friend blogger from Lithuania  about her visit there and I wanted to see the Grass garden as well. 

It was created to display ornamental grasses; and was redesigned and replanted in 1994. Over 580 species of grasses are displayed there. In a distance you can see the glass conservatory, it's the Alpine house.

The Davie's Alpine House! It was a surprise for me, because I've never been to such talented designed building. It was opened in March 2006. 

16 meters long the apex of the roof arch of Alpine house extends to a height of 10 meters in order to allow the natural airflow of a building of this shape to aid in the all-important ventilation required for the type of plants to be housed.
I've read on the stand that the Alpine house features a set of automatically operated blinds that prevent it overheating when the sun is too hot for the plants together with a system that blows a continuous stream of cool air over the plants. The main design aim of the house is to allow maximum light transmission. There many small alpine plants in exhibition, I liked crocus and white cyclamen.

After Alpine house I went to the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
What did you know about Kew gardens? Have you been there? What other Botanic gardens do you know and love to visit?

to be continued...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Roses of the Queen Mary’s Gardens

        If you visit the Regent's Park in London you will surely come to the Queen Mary’s Gardens. Looking at the map of the Regent's Park I immediately found the Queen Mary’s Gardens in the Inner circle and went there. I was hoping to see blooming roses in mid-September. And my hope was fulfilled.
Having passed through the beautiful forged and gilded gates I faced figure of a gardener made ​​by plants.

The whole garden was surrounded by trellises and arches, roses bloomed on the beds and trellises.

Some words about this rose garden creation. Queen Mary’s Garden was named after the wife of King George V. In 1932 rose garden was opened to the public, the collection of roses was completed by 1934. Now the rose garden is London's largest collection with approximately 12,000 roses planted within the gardens. 


There are 85 single variety beds on display, including famous ‘Royal Parks’ rose, the classic and the modern English roses. 


It was my delightful experience of visiting Queen Mary‘s Gardens, the view and scent of roses was looking spectacular.

Many benches are available for visitors so I decided to sit and enjoy the garden. Shrubs and flowers are located around to add a sense of privacy to the gardens.

I was very glad that I could visit this wonderful rose garden and tried to take more pictures to show you its beauty.  Many visitors looked at roses and talked about their own roses. I've been thinking it's very important for gardeners to share their experiences and to choose a favorite variety for their garden. I also chose the favorite rose for my garden: it's  "Double Delight" variety.

What color of roses do you prefer? If you decided to plant a rose would you choose classic or modern variety?