Wetland garden makes a splash
Enjoy the rich copper flowers of Iris fulva in Kew’s new marginal wetland garden
There’s been lots of activity around the Palm House Pond over the last few months, as a new marginal wetland garden is put in place in front of Museum No 1. Created by Kew horticulturists Doug Brown and Dave Mann, the first phase of this exciting project is now complete.
To create the necessary damp conditions, the team installed a pond liner half a metre below the soil surface to inhibit drainage. The plants were then put in place, including many that had been raised at Kew. Look out for the giant cowslip (Primula florindae), tawny iris
(Iris fulva) and purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinacea).
Inspiration for the planting came mainly from Longstock Park Water Garden in Hampshire. Dave spent a week there, studying the plants, soil, wildlife and management, and learning about the pressures and threats facing wetlands and their wildlife.
The next phase of the project is to plant up another wetland area, develop the existing borders around the Pond, and eventually to partially clear and develop the island. So watch this space!
Where there’s a will...
Legacies continue to make a valuable contribution towards Kew’s work. We are grateful for a very generous share in the estate of Dr Anthony Pike, who requested that his gift should support Kew’s Library and botanical art. This gift will enable the Library to conserve one of its most significant archive collections – the letters written by Charles Darwin to Professor Henslow, his mentor at Cambridge, while he was on the famous Beagle voyage (see Kew magazine, winter 2009).
We are also extremely grateful for gifts from our members and supporters, including a share in the estate of Peter Bartnett, £2,000 from Adele Gordon, £2,000 from Michael Meredith Brown and £1,000 from George W Hobbs, plus £5,000 from Joan Bartlett towards the gardens at Wakehurst.
If you would like to learn more about how you can help Kew with a legacy, why not
You can help conserve Kew’s world-renowned botanical reference library with a gift in your will come to one of our informative events? See the What’s On section (p60) for further details and to book your place. For information on legacies, please contact Helen Lawrence, Kew Foundation, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, telephone 020 8332 3249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.kew.org/news kew news
News in brief See behind the scenes Don’t miss the fascinating new short films about Kew’s work that have just been launched online. They take you behind the scenes and let you meet the staff, join an expedition or learn about ‘Kew and biodiversity’. Go to www.youtube.com/kewgardens to see in a nutshell why Kew’s work is so important. You can also read all the latest Kew news and blogs at www.kew.org and follow Kew on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
Simply the best The Plant Hunters by Carolyn Fry, published by Kew with André Deutsch, has won the ‘Best Publication in 2009’ award from the Association for Cultural Enterprises. It’s on sale for just £20 in Kew’s shops and at shop.kew.org.
Island flora in the spotlight Kew has taken part in an expedition to the Chagos Archipelago to explore the status of native plantlife in various areas, some of which haven’t been surveyed for more than 30 years. The 55 Chagos islands in the Indian Ocean are a United Kingdom Overseas Territory and this work will help Kew develop a plan for re-establishing indigenous plant communities and removing invasive plants. See www.kew.org/news for more details.
Snap it up A superb companion book to the International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition, currently running at Kew, is now available in Kew’s shops at just £17.99 (softback).
For peat’s sake Defra has launched its Act on CO2 Peat-free Campaign at Kew Gardens, with Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Hilary Benn, and children from local primary Broomfield House School. The campaign is part of Defra’s plans to phase out peat for the amateur gardener by 2020, in order to preserve peatland habitats and their flora, and reduce CO2. See more at actonco2.direct.gov.uk and www.direct.gov.uk/buyingcompost.
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