B r i a n   A.   M a r s h a l l


(ILCE = Interchangeable Lens Camera with E-mount)


Kew Gardens, situated in south west London in the Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is the worlds largest collection of living plants. The site itself dates from around 1600 as Kew Field, a farming area for a private estate, but under Royal Patronage Kew Gardens can be traced  to the 18th Century with the merging of Royal Estates at Richmond and Kew. In 1840 Kew Gardens became a National Botanical Garden.


The main purpose of my visit, apart from ticking off my 'to visit list',  was to see The Hive and Tree Top Walkway which I did  before first thing before they became to crowded with visitors. Spent just over five hours there and saw maybe half of what was there and as it was the start of a mini-heatwave I stayed out of the greenhouses. Another visit in the Autumn I think.


THE HIVE: (Open June 2016 until November 2017) - An art installation inspired by research into the health of bees and built out of aluminium to a lattice effect with LED lights and speakers linked to a bee hive so the sound and light, when it's dark, change depending on the activity of the bees in the hive.

TREE TOP WALKWAY: (Opened 2008) - Situated in the Arboretum, the Tree Top Walkway is 18m(59ft) above the ground with a  200m(660ft) oblong walkway around the canopy of the trees and is supported on steel struts that are designed to rust to a bark like appearance to blend in with the surrounding forest. The stairway has 118 steps or you can use the lift for the easy option.

THE PALM HOUSE: (Built 1844-48) - One of the very few Victorian iron and glass structures surviving in the world. Another is the Temperate House(1860) which is the largest surviving Victorian glass house in the world, but  is closed at the moment and covered by a big tent for renovation and conservation and due to open in 2018.

PAGODA: (Erected 1762) - The ten-storey octagonal 50m(164ft) high structure was designed by Sir William Chambers and is loosely based on a traditional Chinese Pagoda. It had been opened to the public for the summer of 2006 and is intended to be opened again in 2017.

QUEEN CHARLOTTE'S COTTAGE: (Built between 1754 and 1771) -Built in the grounds of Richmond Lodge, the estate was bestowed on Queen Charlotte by her husband King George III. In 1898 the cottage and grounds were given to Kew by Queen Victoria to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee.

JAPANESE GATEWAY: (Built 1910) - Originally built for the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910, the gateway was moved to Kew in 1911 and is a four-fifths scale replica of the gateway to the Nishi-Hogan-ji temple in Kyoto and has a traditional Japanese garden around it.

RUINED ARCH: (Built 1759-60) - Designed by Sir William Chambers as a mock Roman 'folly' for a carriage way above.

DAVIES ALPINE HOUSE: (Opened March 2006) - The third version of an Alpine House at Kew since 1887 and designed to hose a small part of the alpine plant collection.

PLANT FAMILY BEDS: (Started in1846)/PRINCESS of WALES CONSERVATORY(Opened 1987) - Plant Family Beds, as the name suggests, have plants of the same family planted together.

NASH CONSERVATORY:(1836) - Originally one of four pavilions designed by John Nash for the gardens of Buckingham Palace, King William IV had it moved, brick by pane of glass, to Kew in 1863.

KEW PALACE: (1631-Originally known as the Dutch House) - Built originally for Samuel Fortrey, a rich Flemish Merchant, it was later bought by George II. It remained a royal residence until the death of Queen Charlotte in 1881 and acquired by Kew in 1898.

KING WILLIAM'S TEMPLE: ( Built 1837) - Built for Queen Victoria in the memory of William IV and originally called the Temple of Military Fame. Along the walls inside are  cast-iron plates commemorating British victories from 1760 to 1815.

Equipment Used: Sony Alpha a6300 Compact Systems Camera + Sony E10-18mm f4 OSS Lens & Tamron 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 Di-III VC Lens.