Kew's wreath for remembrance 2013
This week Collections Horticulturist, Carlos Magdalena, finalised the plants which will feature in the wreath this year. The collected sprigs and flowers are from specimens representing the UK Overseas Territories including: the Falkland Islands, Montserrat and St Helena, and are all grown on-site at Kew.
As well as the wreath which is laid at the Cenotaph, a second identical wreath is crafted and laid in Kew Gardens to commemorate the many members of the Kew Guild and staff who fell in the First and Second World Wars.
The wreaths take four days to construct and are built onto oasis around a circular frame. Carlos said: 'First I use the juniper to create heaps of 10 to 15cm long twigs which are then inserted into the wreath, next the plant material including Mangrove, Palm, and Antarctic moss is added.'
Carlos Magdalena making the wreath (Photo: Paul Little)
Finally, when they are complete one wreath is sent to the Foreign Office and the other laid at Kew’s war memorial on the north-eastern side of Victoria Plaza on Remembrance Sunday.
Remembering at Kew
A two minute silence will be observed at the entrance gates of Kew Gardens at 11am on Remembrance Sunday, 10 November, and again on Armistice Day, Monday 11 November. The flag will fly from the flagpole at Victoria Gate at full mast from sunrise until sunset on both days. Visitors are welcome to place their poppies at the memorial in remembrance.
Plants used in the wreath
|Latin Name||Common Name||Country of origin|
|Pedilanthus tithymaloides||slipper spurge||Anguilla|
|Juniperus bermudiana||Bermuda juniper||Bermuda|
|Chiococca bermudiana||Bermuda snowberry||Bermuda|
|moss species||British Antarctic Territory|
|Ipomoea pes-caprae||beach morning glory||British Indian Ocean Territory|
|Heliconia psittacorum||parrot’s plantain||British Virgin Islands|
|Myrtus communis||common myrtle||Gibraltar|
|Chamaerops humilis||dwarf fan palm||Gibraltar|
|Deschampsia flexuosa||wavy hair grass||Falkland Islands|
|Rhizophora mucronata||mangrove||Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oena Islands|
|Codiaeum variegatum||Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oena Islands|
|Pelargonium cotyledonis||old Father live-for-ever||St Helena|
|Trochetiopsis ebenus||St Helena ebony||St Helena|
|Mellissia begoniifolia||St Helena boxwood||St Helena|
|Commidendrum rugosum||scrubwood||St Helena|
|moss species||S Georgia & S Sandwich Islands|
|Hamelia patens||Turks & Caicos Islands|
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Without plants there could be no life on earth, and yet every day another four plant species face extinction. Too often when we hear these kind of statistics there is little that we can do as individuals, but thanks to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership and the Adopt a Seed, Save a Species campaign there is something that you can do to ensure the survival of a plant species.