New at Kew this summer Kew is celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity with a wide-ranging series of events, exhibitions and guided walks. Running from 29 May to 5 September, the summer festival includes free-flying exotic butterflies in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, the new PLANTastic Play area in Kew’s woodland, a photography exhibition of Kew’s wild flora and fauna, and an exciting programme of walks led by Kew’s volunteer guides. Find out more below.
NOW–29 JUNE WALK: Biodiversity in a Native British Woodland This tour explores the Natural Areas around Queen Charlotte’s Cottage and ventures into Kew’s managed British woodland, an area not normally open to the public (see also p38). Every Tues, Thurs & Sat, until 29 June, 2.30pm, from the Pagoda, £5 per person. Booking essential – call 020 8332 5604 or email email@example.com.
NOW–26 SEPTEMBER EXHIBITION: International Garden Photographer of the Year Enjoy breathtaking images from this prestigious competition (see also p30), showing the beauty and diversity of plants around the world. It’s sure to inspire you to get your camera out. Daily, until Sun 26 September, outdoors near the Marianne North Gallery.
NOW–26 SEPTEMBER KEW PALACE: Open Kew Palace, the former home of George III, offers a unique insight into the lives of the royal family in the late 18th century. Various additional items belonging to George III are on show for the first time this year to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his accession to the throne. Daily, until Sun 26 September, 10am–5pm (from 11am on Mon), prices (in addition to Gardens entry): adults £5, accompanied under-16s free, senior citizens/ students (with ID) £4.50, free to members of Historic Royal Palaces; tickets available at Kew’s gates or in the Palace’s Welcome Centre; for more details go to www.hrp.org.uk/KewPalace.
NOW–30 SEPTEMBER WALK: Biodiversity – what’s it all about? Did you know that every breath we take depends on plants? Discover what biodiversity means and why it’s so important. Learn about biodiversity hotspots, the importance of the rainforest, plant and animal interdependence and Kew’s conservation work around the world. Daily, until Thurs 30 September, 12 noon, from the Guides’ Desk, Victoria Plaza, free.
29 MAY– 5 SEPTEMBER DISPLAY: Butterflies, Bugs & Beasties Find out how pollination works through a range of displays in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, including walk-through tropical butterfly zones, large-scale sculptures, audio installations and film screenings on pollination. There will also be roving guides to explain more. Daily, from Sat 29 May–Sun 5 September, Princess of Wales Conservatory.
From 29 May: enjoy free-flying butterflies in the Princess of Wales Conservatory
29 MAY–5 SEPTEMBER CHILDREN’S FUN: PLANTastic Play Explore the new natural woodland play area, designed to help children learn about plants as they play. There’s a leaf maze explaining photosynthesis, crawl-tunnels showing how roots absorb water, fungi sculptures and much more (see also p48). Daily, Sat 29 May–Sun 5 September, near Queen Charlotte’s Cottage.
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29 MAY–5 SEPTEMBER EXHIBITION: Wild Kew Be inspired by this exciting collection of Heather Angel’s photographs, showing the diversity of Kew’s plants and wildlife. Daily, Sat 29 May–Sun 5 September, Nash Conservatory.
29 MAY–5 SEPTEMBER PALM HOUSE: Whispering in the Leaves Listen to the sounds of a tropical rainforest as you walk among the lush vegetation of this glorious glasshouse. Daily, Sat 29 May– Sun 5 September, Palm House.
29 MAY–5 SEPTEMBER SELF-GUIDED WALK: Biodiversity Trail Discover the amazing biodiversity all around you at Kew on this self-guided family trail. Sat 29 May–Sun 5 September, pick up a leaflet at any gate.
2 JUNE MEMBERS’ EVENT: Kew Social Meet fellow Kew members in the Orangery, where a range of refreshments is available to purchase. Then choose from four seasonal guided walks. Wed 2 June, 10am, Orangery, walks depart 10.30am, 10.45am, 11am & 11.15am. No booking required.
7–18 JUNE COURSE: Kew School of Botanical Illustration On this ten-day course, tutor Annie Farrer shows you how Kew’s botanical illustrators www.kew.org What’s on work and explores the methods and materials they use. Precise drawing techniques are taught, along with pen-and-ink work and drybrush watercolour. Plant morphology and microscope work is also covered. Most of the teaching is individual, so the course suits both new and experienced artists. Mon 7 June–Fri 18 June, weekdays only, £695 (Premier Friends/concessions £645), deposit on enrolment £150. Booking essential – see the Adult Education panel on p67.
20 & 27 JUNE KEW PALACE: Sunday Evening Tours Round off a day at Kew with an after-hours guided tour of this historic palace. You’ll see areas not normally open to the public, including the attics and Tudor undercroft. Sun 20 & 27 June, 5–7.30pm, £22 including wine and nibbles. Booking essential – call 0844 482 7777.
29 JUNE LEGACY DAY: Kew If you’re thinking about including Kew in your will, this day will explain how your gift could support Kew’s work. It includes talks by senior staff and behind-the-scenes tours. For more details, contact Helen Lawrence on 020 8332 3249 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tues 29 June, 10.30am–3.30pm, free. Booking essential – use the form on p67.
29 JUNE LECTURE: Bringing Namaqualand to Kew David Shipp presents the behind-the-scenes story of this summer’s Palm House Parterre display, which was inspired by the breathtakingly vibrant spring wildflowers in Namaqualand, South Africa (see also p22). He celebrates the spectacle of the region’s www.kew.org amazing flowers, the importance of their longterm conservation, and how the 22,000 plants in the display were raised in Kew’s nursery. Tues 29 June, 7pm, £5, Premier Friends £4, Jodrell Lecture Theatre. Booking essential – see the Adult Education panel on p67.
1 JULY–28 AUGUST WALK: From Colonisation to Conservation Find out about Kew’s changing role since Princess Augusta started a botanic garden in her Kew estate ‘which was to contain all the plants known on earth’ to the present day’s global conservation and collaboration. Every Tues, Thurs & Sat, 1 July–28 August, 2.30pm, from the Guides’ Desk, Victoria Plaza, free.
6–10 JULY CONCERTS: Summer Swing Bring a picnic and enjoy a lively evening of outdoor music in the heart of the Gardens. Tues 6 July Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, with special guests Alison Moyet and Ruby Turner, £35 Wed 7 July Björn Again + The Original Bucks Fizz, £32.50 Thurs 8 July Dancing in the Streets, £32.50 Fri 9 July Bootleg Beatles + UK Beach Boys, £35 Sat 10 July Queen – A Symphonic Rock Spectacular, £35 Tues 6 July–Sat 10 July, in front of the Temperate House, gates open at 6.30pm, concerts start at about 7.35pm. Booking essential – call 0871 231 0834 or go to www.kew.org/swing.
13 JULY LEGACY DAY: Kew For full details and booking information, see 29 June, above left.
18 JULY KEW PALACE: Sunday Evening Tours For details, see 20 & 27 June, left.
20 JULY MEMBERS’ DAY TRIP: Summer at Wakehurst Explore Wakehurst’s summer delights. A selection of guided walks is available, including a short tour of the Millennium Seed Bank. There will also be plenty of free time to explore the garden at your leisure. Price includes coach travel and light refreshments on arrival. Tues 20 July, coach departs from Kew’s Main Gate at 10am, returning at approx 5pm, £17. Booking essential – use the form on p67.
25 JULY KEW PALACE: Sunday Evening Tours For details, see 20 & 27 June, left.
29 JULY MEMBERS’ EVENT: Garden Open Evening Enjoy an exclusive out-of-hours evening in the Gardens. Take a free ride on the Kew Explorer, bring a picnic and share a relaxing summer’s evening with family and friends. Full details at www.kew.org/membersevents nearer the time. Thurs 29 July, 6.30–9.30pm, entry via Victoria or Brentford Gate. Members free, children and guests welcome (guest entry with complimentary passes or £4 payable at the gate). No booking required.
5, 12, 19 & 26 AUGUST MEMBERS’ EVENT: Garden Open Evening For details, see 29 July, above. Every Thurs in August, 6.30–9.30pm (closing time may be earlier, depending on sunset time), entry via Victoria or Brentford Gate. Members free, children and guests welcome (guest entry
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