The Royal Botanical Gardens Kew and Dale Chihuly

On one of our visits to family and friends in Oxfordshire we made a trip to Kew Gardens for the day. Not since our courting days have we been back to Kew so we were really looking forward to the day. The journey was easy, about an hour and a half and the parking along the river worked well.

We particularly wanted to see the newly renovated Temperate House and art exhibition by Artist Dale Chihuly and were not disappointed.

The Temperate House looks magnificent from the outside and when you enter the space is mindblowing. The planting has been arranged around four sides and two side wings and the plants are still newly planted so you are not overwhelmed like the Palm House. You can climb up to the upper gallery and look down on the wonderful display of ‘ blown glass’ artwork arranged in the foliage and a magnificent hanging  glass display from the roof.

Outside in the grounds are further structures so big that it is impossible to see now they were erected. The Marianne North Gallery houses smaller pieces of glass work and a very interesting video of how Chihuly and assistants manufacturer the artwork from molten glass.

The gardens are 326 acres so there is quite a lot to cover but there is a hop on hop off ‘land train’ so you don’t have to walk all the way. 

The gardens were teeming with school children when we were there but it is so large it was never crowded, a good day out.

John Walker