August 22 – 27, 2019
It was our last day in London, but our flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until later that afternoon. As the weather continued to be clear and sunny, we thought it was a good chance to get out and see something other than sidewalks and concrete. We would visit Kew Gardens!
I was surprised to see that there was a Chihuly exhibit in the gardens. My knowledge of of Chihuly stemmed from when I lived in Seattle, when he was the “local guy making it big”, and I would see his glass artwork in various installations. But then the world took notice and soon Chihuly had hit the big stage. And now here he was, in Kew Gardens.
In addition to Chihuly, there were other art displays. I enjoyed the paintings of plants and flowers, with the incredible details and interesting compositions.
Shirley Sherwood gallery
We left the shelter of the gallery and went back out into the sunshine. We followed the path through the gardens, enjoying the various sights along the way.
The Great Pagoda, completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta
Reaching the far side of the gardens, bordered by the Thames
Syon House, Duke of Northumberland’s London residence
Peak summer colors
Princess of Wales Conservatory
The Conservatory was amazing. The interior was well laid out, with various regions and vegetative zones. The beauty of the layout was that it was completely natural. I have been in many green houses where the plants were just sitting in pots on a concrete pad. But here, the plants were laid out in a very appealing and natural setting. It was just like being in nature.
We went from one greenhouse to another – the Palm House. It was hot outside, but given that the Palm House is full of palm trees, surely it would be warmer, right? Well, yes and no. There was no discernible difference when we walked in, but when we climbed the steps, we also climbed into the clouds of humidity. Yikes! It was like being back in Costa Rica!
Dan has Chihuly hair!
And from the Palm House we walked over to the Temperate House
Green glass display in the green house
Like a pod of alien eggs
From here it was a short walk back to the bus station, the ride back to our hotel and then the trip to the airport. It was an uneventful trip home, which was appreciated after such an eventful four days in London!