Kew magazine: Editor's Letter
On a bright, crisp spring day, there is nothing better and more inspiring than a walk around Kew or Wakehurst to see how things have fared over winter and to spot the first harbingers of the season ahead. Both gardens have a wonderful selection of snowdrops and early spring flowers, collected by hardy plant hunters who have travelled across the globe. If you visit the Princess of Wales Conservatory now, you can find out about the most important botanical explorers and see the stunning tropical displays in the final weeks of Kew’s Orchids festival, which finishes on 9 March.
You can enjoy many horticultural highlights across the Gardens as spring unfurls, and one of my favourites is the moment when the magnolias reach their peak in early April. Their sturdy, sumptuous blooms come in such a range of pinks, whites and yellows, and in such profusion, it’s hard not to be impressed. Tony Kirkham, head of the Arboretum at Kew, reveals the history of Kew’s collection, and the stories behind some of the finest species, on page 30. You’ll also find some beautiful bonus images of magnolias on the Kew magazine iPad app, along with other extra content, such as new films, talks and blog posts.
Kew’s Rock Garden also comes into its own in spring, and here you’ll find several species of pasque flower living up to their name and blooming in time for Easter. Kew’s scientists are currently studying our native species (Anemone pulsatilla) to understand why it’s declining and how it can be saved – you can read the full story, including how new motion-capture technology is proving its worth, on page 52.
If you have time before or after your visit to Kew, I would recommend you call in at St Anne’s Church on Kew Green, which is celebrating 300 years of serving Kew and its community. On page 46 we look at the history of this beautiful church and at one of the tercentenary projects that was inspired by artworks in Kew’s archives.
Whatever the weather this spring, I hope you can enjoy a few visits to Kew and Wakehurst. As ever, there are plenty of events, tours and courses on offer – you can go behind the scenes, join in the Easter family activities or even improve your photography and painting skills – see page 62 for all the details.
We hope you enjoy this issue – both the printed version and the iPad app, which offers bonus content. For more information on how to download the Kew app, go to the Kew magazine home page or take a look on iTunes now.
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