Kew magazine: Editor's Letter
Spring is a really special time of year at Kew. There is the promise of warmer days in the air and colour is appearing all over the Gardens. One of the most magical places to head for is the Woodland Garden, near the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Here, below the stately oaks, black walnut and handkerchief trees, you’ll find a wealth of beautiful spring bulbs, flowering shrubs and perennials. For me, it’s a place that encapsulates the best of what the season has to offer. Some of the stars of spring here are the dog’s-tooth violets (Erythronium). Their colourful, reflexed petals shine out above the woodland floor. Chris Clennett, gardens manager at Wakehurst, shows us the best examples to seek out and enjoy at both Kew and Wakehurst.
In this issue we also look at the research and conservation of two of our favourite and most stimulating edible plants – coffee and chocolate. Coffee has been in the news headlines recently following the publication of a research paper from Kew highlighting the danger that wild arabica (Coffea arabica) plants face from the effects of climate change. Kew’s coffee expert, Aaron Davis, talks us through what’s going on and what the future may hold for this universally popular beverage.
With Easter just around the corner, my thoughts are turning to one particularly delicious plant – Theobroma cacao – or chocolate. Kew’s work on Theobroma highlights the importance of protecting the wild relatives of the plants we love to cultivate. Gail Vines investigates the history and uses of this delectable rainforest species.
Your support is vital in helping Kew to continue its mission of collecting, researching and conserving species. The Breathing Planet Campaign is an ambitious quest to raise £100 million to allow Kew to forge ahead with its work around the world and look after its World Heritage site at home. Read our feature (or go to the Campaign website) to discover the difference your support can make.
This issue is the first to be available as an iPad app. This specially designed, interactive version of the magazine is free to all Friends of Kew, so please take a look and enjoy the extra content we’ve added.
Editor, Kew magazine
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