Despite feeling as though you’re surrounded by the city’s concrete jungle, London’s green spots are plentiful and even more captivating. Launched on the 24th of May 2014, visit Kew Gardens‘ Plantasia while the weather is picking up!
Whether you’re planning a weekend trip or mapping out the summer holidays, immerse yourself at the Royal Botanic Gardens in leafy Kew and experience the stimulating, transformative power of plants. There is something for everyone from barefoot walking trails and a gin and tonics garden to free Tai Chi drop in sessions. On top of it all, what better place to relax and embrace this sensual experience than amongst the truly spectacular horticultural displays, where you can see how life-enhancing plants and fungi affect the human health in mind, body and soul at the stunning setting of London’s Kew Gardens?
Wander along the Barefoot Walk in the arboretum: Balance on beams and hop across tree trunks and experience the different textures upon your soles that nature has to offer. If you’re planning a day out with friends, enjoy botanical No.3 gin cocktails in the splendour of the Gin and Tonics Garden on weekends and learn their forgotten medicinal properties as you sip and swirl (on weekends and bank holidays only).
If you’re taking the kids, there is so much Kew Gardens has to offer. Engage with the roaming performers and join in a feverish game of Curious Croquet in the summer holidays led by the singing, dancing and frightfully entertaining Kew Gardens World Croquet Team and let the children get involved in the hands-on plant Lotions & Potions!
For the first time in eight years, scale new heights as Kew’s iconic Pagoda opens. As you climb the spiral staircase to the top of this 50m-tall, 250-year-old building, experience breathtaking views across the Gardens and to the London landmarks beyond.
For the advanced adult learner, work with traditional healers in the forests of South America and Africa to conserve medicinal plants by saving their seeds and growing good quality plants that are used as medicines in different parts of the world. Don’t leave out the Healing Giant: a human-shaped raised display showcasing the effects of plants on different parts of the human body. As a visual touchstone of the festival, this work embodies the cultural, medicinal and scientific links between plants and man.Walk around the face and find the natural skin treatments people have used throughout the ages and reach the heart and encounter the plants commonly employed as love potions and aphrodisiacs!
The Queens Garden at Kew Palace has been permanently updated for the festival to provide a chronological journey through of the different uses of medicinal plants from traditional remedies which form the chemical basis of modern drugs. Inspired by this new garden, medical herbalist Christina Stapley will teach which herbs should be used to make a small medicinal garden at a one-off Herbs for Health workshop on the 6th of July. The workshop is from 10.30–5.30pm and costs £55/£50conc. To book, call 0208 332 5626 or email AdultEd@kew.org
So, don’t hang about – book your tickets and experience the nature that London has to offer!
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB
Children aged 16 years and under visit free
Tickets for the Gardens can be purchased in advance online and at the gates on the day