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Kew's wreath for remembrance 2013

The wreath laid at the Cenotaph on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Remembrance Sunday is provided, as always, by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, using flora representative of the UK Overseas Territories.
Kew Gardens' Wreath for Remembrance Day 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
Olea europaea olive Gibraltar
Myrtus communis common myrtle Gibraltar
Chamaerops humilis dwarf fan palm Gibraltar
Deschampsia flexuosa wavy hair grass Falkland Islands
Anthurium hookeri   Montserrat
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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