Kew magazine: Editor's Letter
Kew is home to the largest Fungarium in the world, containing over a million specimens
Fungi loom large at Kew this season. As well as spectacular willow sculptures of British edible mushrooms along the Broad Walk, there’s a great range of events, talks and tours to bring you closer to these intriguing organisms over the coming months. Kew is home to the largest ‘fungarium’ in the world, containing over a million specimens catalogued for research. To find out more about this awe-inspiring resource, we go behind the scenes to meet Kew’s team of fungi experts. They tell us about their fascinating work and show us some of the treasures of this unrivalled collection. You can read about how willow artist Tom Hare worked with Kew’s experts to create the giant mushroom fairy ring on p32 and explore the world of the mycologist on p36.
There’s a lot to enjoy throughout the gardens at Kew and Wakehurst during autumn and winter. Andrew Jackson introduces us to Wakehurst’s National Collection of birches. Beautiful in every season, these trees really come into their own in autumn as their leaves turn golden, above their papery white or cinnamon-coloured stems (see p42, and the stunning bonus gallery on the Kew magazine app). We also find out why our native juniper is struggling to survive (p56) and contemplate the incredible edible ‘nuts’ of the ginkgo tree (p54).
This autumn also marks the 50th anniversary of the Kew Diploma. While Kew has been training horticulturists for centuries, this professional certificate is now a gold standard qualification. Kew graduates work in a wide variety of professions across the world, their intense training valued for the breadth of knowledge it brings to many spheres of gardening, design, science, conservation and the media. Read about the history of this course and what some graduates have to say about their time at Kew, including a certain Mr A Titchmarsh.
As autumn rolls into winter, Kew and Wakehurst change in personality, so visit regularly to enjoy the shift in seasons. Be sure to book your tickets early for Kew’s spectacular new illuminated winter trail and experience the magic of the Arboretum after dark (see p6 and p63). There will also be a Yuletide market every day, so there’s plenty to look forward to.
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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