This is an excerpt from my latest post at the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog. Click the link below to visit the full post.
For anyone with an interest in botany and horticulture, Kew Royal Botanical Gardens in London is like the holy grail. Started in 1759, this garden is now over 250 years old and is full of history, research, conservation, wildlife and a massive collection of plants. The entire garden is now 132 hectares (300 acres) in size, a rather dramatic change from the original 9 acres. It has World Heritage status and contains the worlds most diverse botanical collections. This is where ‘Mad’ King George spent much of his ‘illness’ and the palace, built in 1631 is now open to the public. History can also be found in the gardens where you can step back in time and visit a nosegay garden, which was an apothecary garden or the Queen’s Garden which contains plants exclusively grown in Britain during the 17th century. Queen Charlotte’s cottage was a gift to the Queen in 1761 and stayed private until Queen Victoria gave it to Kew on the condition that the grounds and their bluebell woods be kept in their naturalistic state . This part of Kew was a bird sanctuary and was the beginning of the Conservation Area in Kew. Those familiar with the history of landscape architecture would recognize the name of Capability Brown, one of the designers instrumental in creating and recreating Kew Gardens.
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