An Explosion of Colour
Ignite your senses at Kew’s Tropical Extravaganza 2012
Saturday 4 February to Sunday 4 March
12 January 2012
Saturday 4 February to Sunday 4 March 2012
Princess of Wales Conservatory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Press Preview / photo-call: 2 February
Photographers from 9.30am, journalists/broadcast from 10.00am
Depressed by the thought of those long winter months looming ahead? Then put Saturday 4 February 2012 into your diary, which marks the opening of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew’s month long Tropical Extravaganza festival, where the Princess of Wales Conservatory is transformed into a sea of exotic orchids . It’s a celebration of all things bright, beautiful, and, of course, tropical.
The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Forces of Nature’ - visitors to Zone 1 of the Princess of Wales conservatory will be immersed in an environment where natural foliage and planting schemes will be interspersed with representational displays that dynamically explore and raise awareness of the four classical elements : air, fire, water and earth. Ornamental displays of tropical flowers will represent the elements by colour themes, such as hanging baskets of aquatic hues for water, and arches decorated with blazoned reds, yellows and oranges for fire.
Carefully selected plants will include red chillies (Capsicum annuum), stunning orchids such as the purple spotted Miltassia ‘Peggy Ruth’, and vibrant bromeliads, for example, the spiky pink Aechmea ‘Primera’.
The wet tropical zone with its lush landscape will contrast with the colour-structured ‘forces of nature’ displays. Using the architecture of the building and a range of suspension, receptacle and planting devices, the zone will be transformed into a landscape of sumptuous tropical plants.
The festival will be a feast for the senses. As well as the stunning floral displays, a number of sculptures will be in situ, including representations of wind-dispersed seeds, fungi, mangroves, cabanas, and wildlife. There will also be an atmospheric sound-scape that will convey the importance of air and wind to nature’s balance.
This blissful setting is not merely to be admired. Tropical Extravaganza will also highlight Kew’s global science and conservation programmes. The festival aims to illustrate how plants and fungi depend on and moderate the classical elements across our planet. Human actions affect nature’s delicate balance, which is essential to our wellbeing. Upsetting that balance can amplify the destructive effects of natural forces.
Kew works with partners worldwide to repair and restore ecosystems, both to save species and boost the planet's capacity to absorb carbon and slow the pace of climate change.
BEHIND THE SCENES
4 February to 4 March 2012
Book now for guided tours of Kew’s famous nurseries:
• Tropical Nursery Tours
Tour the entire nursery, usually closed to the public, and discover a fascinating world of carnivorous, bromeliad, orchid and cacti zones, including the nursery’s plant conservation work. Meet Kew’s expert horticultural staff afterwards for a Q&A session.
£5 Saturdays only, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm
Booking essential on: 020 8332 5604
• Orchid Nursery Tours
A rare chance to enter the Orchid zones and see at first hand the skills and techniques used to take care of Kew’s diverse collection. Speak to Kew’s horticultural staff orchid experts after the tour with either a practical demonstration on how to pot up and care for your orchids at home or a Q&A session.
£5 Tues & Thurs 1.30 and 2pm, with Q&A session afterwards
£15 Tues & Thurs 2.30pm, with a demonstration afterwards
Booking essential on: 020 8332 5604
• Hands on Session
Blowing in the wind: stories of seed dispersal
Discover how seeds both microscopic and large need earth, wind, fire and water to disperse and germinate.
Free Wednesdays & Sundays 2-4pm 5 February to 4 March at the Secluded Garden Glasshouse
No booking needed
This one day course aims to give you the knowledge and confidence to be able to grow orchids successfully in your own home. Beginning with an introduction to the wonderful world of orchids, the tutor will then give advice as to the best kinds to grow and the steps involved in keeping them looking their best. McBean’s are specialist orchid growers and take pride in honouring the long and distinguished history of their company which was founded in 1879.
Thurs 16 Feb 2012
£50 (£45 Concessions, Premier Friends, Friends - maximum capacity 50 places)
Adult Education events are open to all, but capacity is limited and booking is essential.
To book your place or for more details, call 020 8332 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Orangery Vanilla Tea gives you the opportunity to experience the taste of Vanilla from around the world with specially selected and blended teas, fragrant cakes and pastries, all to be enjoyed in the elegant surroundings of Kew’s Orangery.
Sat 4 February–Sun 4 March,
£15 per person. Call 020 8332 5680 for further details and to book.
Valentine’s Dinner for two in The Orangery
Our chefs have created the perfect Valentine’s dinner for two, with delicious dishes made for sharing. Spend a romantic evening in the Orangery, with champagne and canapés to start, followed by tasty mains, and delicious deserts.
Tue 14 February
£45 per person
Booking essential: call 020 8332 5680
Growing Hardy Orchids by Philip Seaton, Philip Cribb, Margaret Ramsay, and John Haggar
Kew Publishing, November 2011, £12.50
Growing Hardy Orchids introduces an exciting array of orchids from 47 diverse genera that can be cultivated in a cool greenhouse or outside, in their rightful place among other temperate garden plants.
Taking important lessons from the orchids’ natural histories and life cycles, the authors provide practical information on all aspects of growing hardy orchids: raising plants from seed, vegetative propagation, cultivation in pots and in open ground, coping with pests and diseases and orchid conservation.
By focusing on orchids that are ‘easy to raise’, including hardy hybrids, Growing Hardy Orchids shows how orchids need no longer be under-utilised in our gardens.
Kew’s shops will stock a wide range of tropical plants and orchids, alongside a selection of tropical plant themed products and books. Please go to http://shop.kew.org to view our online products.
Notes to Editors
We will be holding a press preview for Tropical Extravaganza on Thursday 2 February 2012. For more information please contact the Press Office
Our Horticultural experts will be available for interview both at the press preview and at pre-arranged times throughout the festival
For more information on the festival, or any of Kew’s work, please contact the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Press Office on 020 8332 5607 or email email@example.com
Images are available to download from www.kew.org/press/images . Please contact the press office for the username and password.
• Opening hours: 9.30am – 4.15pm (until 5 February 2012), 9.30 – 5.30 (until 26 March 2012). Weekends and bank holidays close an hour later.
• Last entry to the Gardens, the glasshouses, galleries and the Xstrata Treetop Walkway is 30 minutes before closing.
• Admission: Adults £13.90, Concessions £11.90, free for children under 17 (with an adult).
• Visitor information: 020 8332 5655 or see our visit Kew pages.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding living collection of plants and world-class Herbarium as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international visitor attraction. Its landscaped 132 hectares and Kew's country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract nearly two million visitors every year. Kew was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2009. Wakehurst Place is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10% of the world's wild flowering plant species (c.30, 000 species) and aim to conserve 25% by 2020.
Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership has already achieved so much, and its enormous potential for future conservation can only be fulfilled with the support of the public and other funders. Kew needs to raise significant funds both in the UK and overseas. Members of the public can support the work of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership by getting involved with the ‘Adopt a Seed, Save a Species' campaign. For £25 an individual can adopt a seed or for £1,000 anyone can save an entire species.www.kew.org/adoptaseed.
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