16Collected works Gail Vines meets Kew’s Martin Cheek, who works tirelessly to protect biodiversity in West Africa, despite the dangers
18Rescue missionOliver Whaley reports on the effects of climate change in Peru and what Kew is doing to help restore the native flora
24Drop by dropWhy are Richard Wilford and Matthew Smith crawling around on remote, freezing hillsides in Georgia counting snowdrops?
30Natural inspiration Garden designer and former Kew student Dan Pearson talks to Sally Nex about his influences
36A rekindled passionRichard Wilford investigates the intriguing story of a lost Kew beauty, Passiflora x kewensis
38From rainforest to herbarium How does a rare plant collected in Sumatra become a treasured specimen in Kew’s Herbarium? Gemma Bramley explains
46An evolutionary correspondence Emma Townshend explores the fascinating letters by Charles Darwin held in Kew’s Archives
48What can you spot?In winter Kew’s Arboretum is teeming with life – come and see for yourself, says Sandra Bell
54Restored to gloryAs Kew’s Marianne North Gallery reopens, we look at the history of this unique building and its eponymous founder
42Meeting of minds AndreaWulf traces the close, longstanding links between Kew and the Royal Society
Page 30 , LEE
ANDY POTTS, DAVE ZUBRASKI/ALAMY
THOMAS/GARDEN WORLD IMAGES, DAN PEARSON,
, ANDREW McROBB/RBG KEW
Cover Galanthus by GWI/ FlowerPhotos/Tony Howell (see Drop by drop, p24)
5 Direction The director looks back on Kew’s 250th anniversary year and looks forward to 2010
6 Kew news The latest from all Kew’s gardens, including members’ news
12 Cuttings A round-up of the latest plant science news
52 Wakehurst view How and why Wakehurst is battling Rhododendron ponticum
61 Events Lots to do this winter at Kew and Wakehurst Place
72 Last word Are algal biofuels the solution to our energy problems or a recipe for disaster?
This has been a busy year for Kew, and rightly so – it isn’t every day you celebrate your 250th anniversary. From new horticultural displays to wonderful exhibitions, seed sculptures to lectures, it’s been a semiquincentennial to remember. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too.
As we prepare for a new year there’s even more to celebrate, as 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. Being an ecology graduate, the astonishing variety of life on Earth is a topic close to my heart, so I’m really looking forward to what the next 12 months will bring. Of course the gardens at Kew and Wakehurst are the perfect places to appreciate such variety, and plenty of events are being staged over the year, so keep an eye on Kew’s new website at www.kew.org and our Events section on page 61 for details.
In this issue of Kew magazine we bring the 250th year to a close as Andrea Wulf delves into the shared history of Kew and the Royal Society (page 42), and Emma Townshend looks at letters in Kew’s Archive written by Charles Darwin while on his epic expedition aboard HMS Beagle (page 46).
An evocative interview with landscape designer Dan Pearson (page 30) reveals just how much of an inspiration native plants and botanic gardens can be to any gardener. And, to remind you how busy Kew is on the biodiversity front, you can read about work in the wet tropics of Africa on page 16, the frozen hillsides of Georgia on page 24, and how biodiversity and climate change are interlinked in Peru on page 18. These articles are a poignant reminder that conservation of habitats and species is a task that can only be successfully achieved with the help of local people, wherever you are in the world.
Do join in the festivities at Kew and Wakehurst this season and, if you want to get more involved, why not adopt a seed to save a species with Kew’s new campaign? It would certainly make a meaningful Christmas present – see page 11 and www.kew.org/adoptaseed for full details.
CHRISTINA HARRISON Editor
Kewmagazine is published by the Royal Botanic Gardens,Kew, which works around the world to save plants, fungi and their habitats. With your support,Kew can make a real difference.
KEW Winter 2009 l 3