16Treasure keeper David Mabberley talks to Gail Vines about his wide-ranging role running Kew’s Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives 18Extended opportunities
Juliette Jowit explores Kew’s historic Herbarium and the advantages offered by its newly completed extension 24Peak performers Richard Wilford goes in search of exquisite alpines and the intrepid plant hunters who first brought them to our gardens
30Trouble in paradise Colin Clubbe travels to the remote Indian Ocean islands of Chagos to help assess and restore their native flora
38Outof Africa Kew’s Henk Beentje reports on a 62-year project to record the plants of tropical East Africa
42Counting the cost How can putting a monetary value on biodiversity help combat its destruction? Georgina Langdale explains
46Riches of the Caribbean Emma Townshend traces the origins of one of the most lavish books in Kew’s Library
48Abean feast Kew’s botanists discover new plant species on a regular basis – Gwilym Lewis savours some fascinating new legumes
50Granting success William Milliken looks at the abundant benefits of a project that enabled Latin American botanists to study at Kew
Page 18 ,SHEPHERD
Cover Crocuses in the Alps, by Imagebroker RF
5 Direction Kew’s director explains why the work of Kew’s botanists is crucial
60 What’s on Lots to do this winter at Kew and Wakehurst Place
6 Kew news The latest from all Kew’s gardens, including members’ news
12 Cuttings A round-up of plant science news
72 Last word Why governments must prioritise plant conservation, and how you can show your support
editor’s letter Winter can bring surprising delights – plants that have been waiting in the wings all year suddenly step up to take the limelight: conifers, hollies, mahonias, viburnums and a host of berried shrubs all brighten these pallid days. Alpines are often the stars of the show, peeping through the frosted ground and even braving the snow as January comes around. Kew has such a wonderful collection of alpines on its Rock Garden and in the Davies Alpine House that many visitors make a bee-line for this area of the Gardens in winter. Richard Wilford, manager of Kew’s alpine collections and author of the new book Alpines – from mountain to garden, takes us through some of the delights of the alpine world to whet our appetites (p24).
This winter, Kew is celebrating the opening of the new wing of its Herbarium. This extension provides much-needed room for the expansion of important collections of plant specimens, books, paintings and archives. It’s also the perfect opportunity to bring the collections right up to date. Juliette Jowit investigates just what this means for Kew (p18) and we talk to the keeper of the Herbarium, Library, Art & Archives, Professor David Mabberley (p16).
The work of Kew’s Herbarium is wide ranging – from surveying the vegetation of tiny islands in the Indian Ocean (p30) to a 62-year project documenting the entire flora of tropical East Africa (p38), to training international students and partners (p50). Kew’s Library, its art collections and archives are also invaluable resources. We take a look at one of the treasures of the collections – a rare book that shows how plants were documented in the 18th century and how much things have changed (p46).
I hope you enjoy this glimpse into Kew’s work and that you can come to the Gardens to enjoy the many delights of the season (p60). On behalf of the magazine team and all at Kew, may I wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
CHRISTINA HARRISON Editor
Kew magazine 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.
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