Friday, 11 July 2014

Kew Gardens

I know I've said this same thing about many of the other places we have visited, but I think Kew Gardens might have been one of my favorite tours. It was absolutely amazing, and the materials pulled for us to see were just so beautiful.

Kew Gardens, also called the Royal Botanic Gardens, were founded in 1759, and were private gardens until 1840.  The library itself was established in 1850 and now has over 300,000 books and over 7 million sheets of paper.

Our Guide, Fiona, took us into a hallway outside of the library where she had set up tables filled with books and prints from their collection.  Among these items was their oldest in the collection, which dates from 1370. It is an herbal, or a book about using plants as remedies, and is written entirely in latin.

Every piece Fiona showed us was simply amazing. Here are some pictures I took of the items:

One of the facts Fiona told us that I found particularly interesting was that the best way to identify plants was by having a good illustration.  Many of these books are centuries old, but are still used by botanists today because they are still scientifically important.  The fact that these books aren't simply being saved for the historic value placed on them, but also for their scientific importance was really interesting to learn.

After our tour of the archives, we were free to explore the gardens.  Kew Gardens are the world's most famous gardens, and the world's largest collection of living plants.  We found one of the greenhouses on the grounds and toured each of the rooms, before we headed toward one of the coolest features, in my opinion, of the gardens: the treetop walkway.  Here are some of my pictures of the gardens!

Treetop Walkway 

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