C o n t e n t s
K e w
/ R B G
N a s h i d
D a v
©l o c k l u s B
: O c u
. C o v e r p h o t o l u b b e
Cl i n
, C o
K e w l a c e s , R B G
l P a i s t o r i c R o y a
B r i g g s , H
a r i e
P h o t o s : M
Editor’s letter Regulars
4 Summer at Kew Enjoy the highlights of the season around the Gardens
7 Direction How Kew’s new business plan sets the course for a bright future
8 Kew news Keep up to date with the latest from Kew and the Friends
16 Cuttings A round-up of major plant science stories
60 Best in store The latest from Kew’s shops
62 What’s on Lots to do this summer at Kew and Wakehurst Place
72 Last word What is eco-gardening and why should we all be doing it?
Just as surely as the seasons gently roll into one another, there is always constant change at Kew and Wakehurst Place. Each week brings new and beautiful sights and scents to savour (p4) and there are plenty of events and exhibitions to enjoy. This summer is no exception. The David Nash at Kew: A Natural Gallery exhibition and Wood Quarry are looking spectacular (p22) and the long-lost and wonderfully atmospheric Georgian kitchens (p36) near Kew Palace have just opened to visitors, following sensitive restoration by Historic Royal Palaces. Both are exciting developments and will reveal new insights into Kew’s landscape.
Restoration seems to be a key theme this year, with extensive environmental work having been completed on Westwood Lake at Wakehurst, bringing it back to its former glory (p42). Meanwhile, Kew scientists and horticulturists have been busy helping a large-scale restoration project in the rainforest of Sumatra (p30) and starting conservation work on an endangered species from the British Virgin Islands (p56).
In this issue we also go behind the scenes into Kew’s Library to discover the astonishing collection of ancient herbals that Kew cares for. The oldest manuscript dates back to 1380, and holding this precious volume in my hands is an experience I won’t forget in a hurry. Each book is a piece of history, having been used for reference by countless individuals down the ages. One even narrowly survived bombing in the Second World War and has the scorch marks to prove it.
The summer months are all about getting outside and enjoying our gardens and there are plenty of plants to inspire you at Kew and Wakehurst, including a wonderful array of Penstemon (p54). John Walker also gives us his opinion on how we can all encourage more wildlife into our gardens in a low-cost, earth-friendly way (p72). He argues that this style of gardening can come much more easily than we might think and has benefits for everyone.
Don’t forget to check out our What’s on pages (from p62) – there’s plenty to see and do throughout the season, including exhibitions, Kew the Music concerts, outdoor cinema and theatre, guided tours and photography courses. What more could you ask for?
Christina Harrison, Editor
Check out the magazine blog at www.kew.org/kew-magazine-blog
K E W S U M M E R 2 0 1 2