On Monday 12th December, we all went on a Christmas trip to Kew Gardens to see horticulture on a bigger and much grander scale. The trip started off well with a Christmas singsong in the bus and the high spirits continued when we arrived.
In the morning, we visited the Orangery with its glass domes, water fountains and tropical grasses. Steve from the Kew Gardens team gave us a guided tour and shared some of his expansive knowledge.
Next, we had a talk with Joe in the Kitchen Gardens. It was great to be shown around their growing plots and see what they grow in the winter months.
“I enjoyed talking to the Kitchen Gardner, he looked a lot like Collin. I learned that spinach leaves grow back when you pick them”
After a stop-off in the Bonsai house we took a walk through the grand gardens to the Beehive. Here they translate activity in a nearby beehive into music and light shows. Even though the bees are a bit more subdued in winter, it was great to be able to see how much energy they have and how hard they work.
After having chocolate muffin with lunch, the learners wanted to head up to the Tree Tops. Some learners may have walked the 18-metre high, 200-metre walkway slightly quicker than others, while clinging onto the hand rails, but we all made it round in the end! The rusted steel blends in to the canopy and gave us all a great chance to be up close and personal with what goes on at the top of the great tree trunks.
Finally, we looked in the glass Palm House, with its high walkways and tropical plants. It was really interesting to see and learn about the different climates tropical plants need and how to create them. The grasses and giant bamboos grew far faster than anything we grow on our site!
The trip out was great and really enjoyed but all the learners and staff, even if we did walk for nearly 7 miles! The Kew Gardens team were really helpful and managed to answer any questions we threw at them!