There is no better way to spend a sunny Autumn morning than visiting Kew Gardens. This is exactly what we did last weekend. If you have never been it’s a fantastic place to pop into. There’s loads for children of all ages to do. If you are not a friend of Kew it’s a bit pricey, but children under 17 are free, so it’s very cost- effective if you have many of children in tow.
The Gardens have had an IncrEdibles festival on all summer long showcasing an extensive range of edible plants that are grown all over the world. I’d rather assumed that with summer over most of the display would be past its best. But, of course its harvest time, and it was probably the best month to see some of their fantastic displays.
We were delighted by the ornamental kitchen garden growing in the beds outside the Palm House. The new brightly coloured signage in the palm house highlighting exotic food from around the world worked really well. We thought the Alice in Wonderland sized tea table and its living contents were inspiring. However what really bowled us over and, particularly, our son, were the pumpkin beds.
Every year Kew gardens puts on a magnificent pumpkin and squash display in its Water Lily house, so I am used to being amazed at the variety of shape, colour and size available from these fruits. (I am assuming that as they have seeds they are fruits) In fact we had missed this display by one week and they were just starting to prepare for it. It would be open if you were to go now. However what we had never seen before were so many pumpkins and squashes actually being grown in the Gardens, in fact in any garden. Its astonishing that food which looks so exotic and, in some cases, simply weird is so easy to grow. I’d love to have enough space in my vegetable plots to have a go at producing them.
There were also pumpkins growing in the vegetable garden next to Kew Palace.
We were also enchanted by the willow sculptures creating a beautiful fairy ring in the garden. We have noticed loads of fungi and toadstools around this year (perhaps caused by all the rain last year). Our own garden has produced quite a few of its own so it was timely to explore these beautifully created sculptures.
By the end of our visit we all felt we had had a taste of the essence of the autumn, beautifully and cleverly presented. So pleased we went to see it in September and not in July. If you haven’t visited then the good news it is on to the end of Half Term.