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Take a look inside the autumn issue

31 August 2010
Blog team: 
The autumn issue of Kew magazine is out soon, so I thought I'd give you a quick taster of the highlights.

There's been a big song and dance in the press recently about the latest World Expo opening in Shanghai. The UK Pavilion, christened the Seed Cathedral, was designed by renowned architect Thomas Heatherwick. It has won many accolades since its opening, including the coveted Lubetkin prize from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Artist impression of the UK's Seed Cathedral by Thomas Heatherwick

Discover Heatherwick's Seed Cathedral

Heatherwick's design is a wonderful concept, and how it was made real and constructed on site is truly amazing. We were so impressed here at Kew magazine, that we tracked Thomas down to ask him how it was done. We were particularly interested to find out why he took seeds and  Kew's Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP) as his inspiration to represent the UK. In the autumn issue of Kew magazine (out on 8 September) you can read our interview with Thomas in his London studio and see some of the wonderful images of the Pavilion by Wolfgang Stuppy (from the MSBP). The Expo has been a great opportunity to tell the world about the work of Kew's MSBP – over 45 million people have visited the Expo since it opened!  If you get chance, do check out the wonderful website.  

The autumn issue, with its cover image of the inside of the Pavilion, is packed with other features too. We explore how Kew reaches out beyond its walls to tell people why plants are so important, and how Kew staff are continually expanding the boundaries of our knowledge about plants.

From the Mediterranean to South Africa

We follow Kew's Tony Hall who has been seed collecting in the Mediterranean for eight years, tracking down botanical gems for Kew's Mediterranean Garden. The team who put Kew's South Africa Landscape together at the British Museum tell us how they traveled to South Africa to source the extraordinary quiver tree and trawled nurseries in the UK for bright bedding plants that have South African origins. They also tell us why they did this all in the name of communicating the importance of biodiversity.

We also meet Kew's exhibitions manager Laura Giuffrida who was responsible for the vastly successful Chihuly and Henry Moore exhibitions at Kew Gardens. We ask her just how she puts on these shows and what she's up to in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art.

I do hope you enjoy our latest issue. Remember to take our reader survey – it's open until the end of October. You could even win yourself a copy of The Art of Plant Evolution by Shirley Sherwood and WJ Kress!

- Christina -


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