Sunday, 29 January 2012

A peak behind the scenes.

I don't know about you, but any off-limit green house always has me peering over the fence or barriers. having to walk past the the fences seeing the glimpses of massive green houses at Kew is always a strain. So it was an extra treat on the last visit to get to go behind the scenes and finally get a look in those hidden areas.

Oh course glass houses is something Kew has lots of,  there are the Alpine and Princess of Wales I showed in the first post, Then the Palm house which is the most famous:

The Temperate house, which is currently undergoing a much needed re-vamp.  The poor thing has rotted and rusted away over the century and pretty much needs to be re-built.

Then there are the little ones; the water-lily house and the childrens Jurassic zone. Anyway I was looking forward to seeing what the behind the scenes glass houses looked.  I guess it is no surprise that the main building is a simple industrial sized glass houses, but there were one or two smaller ones.  I quite liked the practicality of these with their roll up and down sides.

 And what I wouldn't give for one of these.  You seem them all across traditional English manor house gardens, often used for fruit and veg, often with some very clever natural heating built into the base. As alpine or succulent houses they are perfect,  I can see all my pots neatly lined up all safe for winter, and then nicely displayed without the glass in the summer.

The fact that all of these were totally open in mind January shows you how warm our winter has been.

You can see the big green house in the background, which may not be very exciting as a building, but what is inside certainly is. When you have rooms like these, what is not to like!

The aloe room was awash with flower spikes, even the overflow area was:

It wasn't just the flowers that were colourful:

Then there were the more unusual ones:

And the ones that went straight onto the wish list:

Not to be outdone the agaves were pretty good as well, these agave mitis albicans were the best blue I have seen:

I got told off for not knowing that there is another hybrid with the same parentage of agave blue glow, you can see similarities but it is definitely different.

They didn't have many yuccas, must are outside, but this one caught my eye.

Needless to say my wish list is a little longer yet again.


  1. Wow, nice agaves. How come behind the scenes? Do you have a contact there?

  2. That Agave mitis albicans is SEXY! Wow.

    Does Kew have plant sales? Not that I could ever hope to attend and purchase but I'm just curious.

  3. I like the super-spiked Aloe parvula!

  4. Oxslip: I have a friend that is studying there. So we arranged in advance to meet him and he took us into the behind the scenes bit.

    DG: The mitis albicans is a lovely plant isn't it. Kew does have a plant sales, but of you ever visit do not be tempted to go in, it is very disappointing for any gardens let alone one of Kews standards.

    HN: You would probably walk past it normally as it is quite plain from a distance. close up it is lovely.