Sunday, May 08, 2011

Kew Gardens in April

The Sackler Crossing, Kew Gardens Lake - April 2011
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in large folio Moleskine
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
In the last week of April we visited the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.  We have a routine - set off mid-late morning on the tube, buy sandwiches and fruit at the Tescos outside Kew Station, get to the gardens and sit down and have lunch.

Then we start walking round to see what there is to see.  It's always different depending on the time of year - but we do like one particular bench in the garden where the Order Beds are for lunch!

We started off by surveying surveyed the new veggie patches started by this year's horticultural students.  I reckon you can tell who's going to do well during the year by how they've got their bed set up right at the beginning.  Some of them have really thought about the design and the construction and how the different elements inter-relate.  It's a bit like artists doing their prep work prior to creating a painting.

I was very keen to get a good look at the Peonies which seemed about ready to burst - although a few had got going early.

The beds in front of the Palm House were an absolute riot of colour with different varieties of tulips mixed in with other bedding plants.

You can see more photographs curated by Kew on Flickr  from those entered into the 'Signs of Spring' Photo Challenge on the Kew website - here are the chosen few in Your Kew - Signs of Spring

Then we set off to go and find the azaleas and rhododendrons which were coming into flower just as the magnolias and lilacs are coming to an end.Everywhere there were daffodils which had 'gone over' and were often horizontal as they died back.

After admiring the beginning of the azalea blooms we went and sat on our favourite seat next to the lake - where we were entertained by an absolute cacophony of bird noises and wood munching by the gardeners.  (see The Lake and waterfowl at Kew Gardens).  This is where I sat and drew the sketch at the top and wished yet again that I'd sorted out my greens before I went. I had the acids but not the olives so when posting this time I've tweaked it to try and bring out the olive colours which I should have been using!

After this it was a trek across the gardens for a cup of tea at what I I always refer to as the Pagoda Restaurant.  Passing the blossom on the trees outside the Temperate House on the way...

It's actually called The Pavilion Restaurant.  Food and drink have much improved of late but it's not cheap - see the new Pavilion menu (pdf)

Tea at the Pagoda Restaurant
8" x 10", pen and ink and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I keep trying to do this sketch every time I come and never ever get it right.  I've yet to find a really satisfactory view from the tables outside the Pavilion Restaurant.  It's all a bit too enclosed for my liking and the view of the Pagoda is not at as good as it could be.  Pity.

I actually managed to get through the shop on the way out without buying a book.  Not quite sure what went wrong there........

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully observed landscape sketch, Katherine and I very much like your people in the restaurant. Wonderful photos too. Envious as usual of the places you get to.


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