Kew up to see the world this summer!
This year, we are inviting you to pack your bags and head down to Kew Gardens, where you can experience those far flung climes without having to venture even as far as the airport. From the heat of the Brazilian rainforest to the cool of the Alpine region, and from the elegance of Japanese architecture to the arid wilderness of the desert regions, a trip to Kew will bring you climates and regions from around the world without the strain on your bank balance.
According to Britain’s official tourism website, visitbritain.org, the continued impact of the recession means that a permanent shift in the way we holiday has occurred, with almost half of the population expecting that beyond 2010 they will take more holidays in the UK than they have in the past.
For images of summer please click here
Professor Stephen Hopper, Director of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, says ‘In this challenging financial climate, we should not overlook the gems that this country has to offer. Kew incorporates stunning national heritage with the beauty and excitement of some of our favourite holiday destinations. For anyone with a love of nature, travel, art, or architecture, Kew is a hotbed of culture right here on our doorstep.’
Saturday May 14 – Sunday May 15
In celebration of Kew’s rich diversity, we are kicking off the summer with an energetic, vibrant Global Fiesta, where we invite you and your family to join us for a fantastic weekend honouring the different worlds that exist within the Gardens, featuring music, dance, food and ritual from all over the world. This will include:
• A Latin Carnival, consisting of a hundred performers, celebrating the plants and work that Kew does in South America’s tropical rainforests.
• A Japanese Tea Ceremony, highlighting oriental plants through tea and bean cakes.
• Global Food and Drink, drawing on the plants within the Gardens that are used in world food and drink.
• World Music, which will reflect the geographical origin of Kew’s plant collections.
An Art Lover’s Heaven…
Saturday 14 May – Sunday 25 September
This thought provoking and highly topical photographic exhibition will be on display on Kew’s Broadwalk. The exhibition is in two parts; it opens with the Hard Rain banner, consisting of 43 photographs illustrating each line of Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’.
The Second part is entitled ‘What’ll You Do Now?’ and explores, through images and text, proven solutions via technologies, development projects, and lifestyle approaches to the problems illustrated in Hard Rain that can be scaled up and widely adopted.
International Garden Photographer of the Year
Saturday 14 May – Sunday 25 September
This is fourth year that Kew will be hosting this renowned outdoor photographic exhibition featuring amateur and professional entries of digital garden photography. Visitors will be able to view approximately 100 enlarged photographs and admire the photographic skill, composition, vibrant colours and specialised garden shots all displayed in the on-site outdoor gallery.
South African Botanical Art
Saturday 25 June – Sunday 16 October
Over 60 contemporary paintings will be on show in The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, mostly executed by South African artists. The unique and exciting flora has stimulated many artists to paint extraordinary strelitzias, protea and cycads or their exquisite lilies and fire ephemerals. The small area of the Cape of Good Hope is home to thousands of species, many of them established now as cultivated plants in other parts of the world like the ubiquitous pelargonium.
Also on display will be some of the original paintings for a new book ‘The Smallest Kingdom’ by Mike Fraser with illustrations by Liz Fraser, which details the intricate interlinking life styles of plants and animals on the Cape.
Wish You Were Here
Saturday July 23 Sunday 25 September
In celebration of the many worlds of Kew, this photographic exhibition, by the renowned photographer Franck Allais, offers visitors an encounter with a series of medium scale photographs, creating surreal landscapes that play with realities and perspectives. Visitors are invited to engage with imaginary scenes and enter into a playful reconsideration of the Gardens and its living collections, landscapes, cultural and historical artefacts.
Franck Allais’s work has appeared in The Guardian, Wallpaper magazine, and Vogue.
Guided Tours around ‘The World’…
Some of our most knowledgeable guides will be offering an exploration of the variety of botanical worlds at Kew; which will link in with our living collections, historical and contemporary science, and conservation work.
A Horticultural Treat…
The Chelsea Flower Show
Tuesday 24 May – Saturday 28 May
For the first time since 1976, Kew will be partnering with The Times Eureka magazine to create a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. Through an eye catching and innovative design by Chelsea gold medallist Marcus Barnett, the garden will highlight the significance of plants to science and society.
This show garden will be relocated to Kew Gardens following the Chelsea Flower Show (subject to funding and planning agreement), giving an opportunity for anyone who missed Chelsea to see the garden over the summer months. Visitors to Kew will have the added benefit of being able to walk through the garden and to see it against the majestic backdrop of Kew’s historic, UNESCO World Heritage Site landscape, and to see many more beautiful, useful and rare plants in Kew’s gardens and iconic glasshouses.
A taste of Australia…
Admission free, British Museum Forecourt
21 April – 16 October 2011
Australia Landscape is the fourth landscape in a five-year partnership programme involving the British Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which celebrates the shared vision of both institutions to strengthen cultural understanding and support biodiversity conservation across the world. The landscape will be located in the forecourt of the British Museum, and will transit from the vegetation of Eastern Australia through the arid desert covering the southern third of the Northern Territory and the North East corner of South Australia; culminating in a western Australian granite outcrop showcasing unique and highly threatened flora.
In order to mark this wonderful project and partnership at Kew Gardens, the roundabout at the end of the Broadwalk will be transformed into a display that celebrates the beauty and usefulness of Australia’s native plants. The display will be influenced by aboriginal art, and will include plants which have specific cultural uses, such as Eucalyptus and tea tree. Visitors can also experience Australia’s stunning plant life in the Australia section of the Temperate House.
Grow Your Own (and tweet about it)…!
This Spring Kew will be launching a new gaming experience for mobile users that will be equally playable online. Easy to learn but difficult to master, it will engage players by allowing them to nurture and grow Kew plants whilst receiving rewards for their activity with new levels and prizes. The growth and vibrancy of each player's plant will be influenced by social 'tweeting' via Twitter. Players' friends and followers will also be able to contribute to the care and nurture of each others plants and collectively to their habitat through tweeting.
Notes to Editors
• Opening hours: 9.30am – 4.15pm until 7 February 2011; 9.30am – 5.30pm 8 February until 28 March 2011
• 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 email@example.com
• Website: www.kew.org
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 RBG Kew’s country estate, Wakehurst Place, attract nearly 2 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. RBG Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10 per cent of the world's wild flowering plant species (c.30, 000 species). The aim is to conserve 25% by 2020, and its enormous potential for future conservation can only be fulfilled with the support of the public and other funders.
Kew receives funding from the UK Government through Defra for approximately half of its income and is also reliant on support from other sources. Without the voluntary monies raised through membership, donations and grants, Kew would have to significantly scale back activities at a time when, as environmental challenges become ever more acute, its resources and expertise are needed in the world more than ever. Kew needs to raise significant funds both in the UK and overseas. Members of the public can support the work of the 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 £1000 anyone can save an entire species. www.kew.org/adoptaseed.
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