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Summer is here - Well the summer issue is anyway...

Christina Harrison
18 May 2010
Blog team: 
The summer issue of Kew magazine is now on sale - just as the weather seems to be cheering up!

At the end of April I was lucky enough to go along to the opening of the South Africa Landscape at the British Museum. The weather wasn’t quite South African but there was plenty of colour, singing and fantastic plants to lift our spirits.

The impressive Mountain aloe (Aloe marlothii) in the South Africa Landscape at the British Museum

The newly planted Landscape looked superb in the evening light – full of bizarre, architectural species such as quiver trees, pachypodiums and cacti-like euphorbias, all surrounded by vibrant daisies. The Landscape has brought a piece of a revered biodiversity hotspot to the centre of London and is well worth a visit - especially now the weather is improving. Check out the plants in the design here and see photos of the build at Kew on Flickr.

The Landscape is a result of the ongoing collaboration between the British Museum and Kew and is the third successful showpiece to have been built on the West Lawn in recent years. We’ll be revealing just how it was put together in our autumn issue – so watch this space.

There is a real South African theme at Kew this year as well. The summer issue of Kew magazine (out this week) reveals the background to the design and planting of Kew’s Palm House Parterre, which will be in place from early June. David Shipp – a Kew horticulturist and the brains behind it all - travelled to Namaqualand (a botanical paradise north of Cape Town), to see the natural spectacle of a desert brought to life by winter rains – a flourish of orange, purple, lilac, red and white flowers (to mention but a few).

In the midst of raising 20,000 plants for the Parterre display, David talks us through his trip and how he got the ideas for his design this year. Find out more about the Parterre and the plant list here.


Spring flowers in Namaqualand

Our main theme for the summer issue is biodiversity of course and we have plenty for you to enjoy – from exploring how we conserve biodiversity on site at Kew and Wakehurst Place to spotting pollinators in the Gardens, as well as how Wakehurst is helping in a study on honeybees. There are a few tips for attracting bees and pollinators to your garden too. Check out the full contents here.

Our news pages include coverage of the UK Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo – known as the Seed Cathedral. Designed by one of the UK’s most talented designers, Thomas Heatherwick, the Pavilion is both innovative design at its very best and a great way of showing the world the wonders of seeds and the work of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank. There’ll be plenty more on this in our autumn issue as the Expo reaches its high point in September. Speaking of which, I’d better get commissioning.

Get your copy of Kew magazine at the Kew shops, or subscribe online now!

Do you have any comments on Kew magazine? Have you been to the Shanghai Expo? Why not let us know…

- Christina -

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