Dr George Taylor & the Bicentennial
Inspired by the bicentennial celebration planned for 1959, Kew
now began a period of expansion and change. The Orangery was converted
back to a conservatory after decades as a Timber Museum. Many of
its timber supplies were transferred to the Forestry Museum in Cambridge
Cottage, which became known as the Wood Museum.
The Palm House, suffering through lack of maintenance during the
Second World War, had been closed to the public after 1952 as it
was considered unsafe. As part of the bicentennial activity, plans
for a replacement at the Palm House were considered. Among the designs
submitted was one that incorporated the Coronation Arches, drawn
up by E Bedford at the Ministry of Works. Eventually the replacement
idea was rejected altogether in favour of restoration, and the Palm
House was reopened to the public in the bicentennial year.
Other changes during this period included the creation of the new
Heath Garden and the construction of a new Rose Pergola between
the Order Beds.
After the 1959 celebrations, the momentum for change continued
unabated and further enhancements included reorganisation and expansion
in the Rock Garden, Azalea Garden and Order Beds.
1963 saw the construction of a larger Jodrell Laboratory to support
the burgeoning community of scientists and to expand Kew's research
base. In 1965 the Gardens took on the management of Wakehurst Place,
Sussex, a 465 acres (188ha ) estate in which allowed some much-needed
expansion for both plants and conservation projects. The less harsh
growing conditions let many genera unsuited to Kew flourish.
The preserved collections were also growing and in 1969 the Queen
opened a fourth wing of the Herbarium.
Developments in the Gardens continued apace under Taylor. He was
instrumental in designing and creating the 17th century styled garden,
the Queen's Garden, behind the Dutch House, now Kew Palace; and
oversaw the construction of the new Filmy Fern House.
to: 1945-Today: Modern Kew