Head to the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew for an antidote to winter!
February’s a strange month: you desperately want it to be spring but it keeps you in limbo for a few more weeks until the crocus and daffodils appear in any numbers. However, if you are craving a bit of colour and a way to kick off the celebrations of the International Year of Biodiversity you couldn’t do better than to hot-foot it down to the Princess of Wales Conservatory and Waterlily House at Kew where, right now, splashes of exotic colour are dripping from every corner – orchids of every shape and hue, vibrant bromeliads, bizarre Anthuriums. Together they make a truly wonderful sight. You might even spot the Chinese water dragon if it’s not too busy (although he’s a permanent fixture it has to be pointed out). I popped down to the Conservatory the other day for the press launch event of Tropical Extravaganza and it proved a very welcome break from staring at a computer screen! Here’s one of my (amateur) snaps of a slipper orchid…
The amazing plants of the tropics feature in the new spring issue of Kew magazine, which has just gone to press. We follow up on the story of how Kew’s botanists discover new plant species around the world (from tiny aquatic plants to enormous rainforest trees), and how Kew’s GIS team manage to map the vegetation of entire regions to help protect endangered species. Biodiversity is, of course, one of our main themes as its conservation is at the core of Kew’s mission.
There are some visual feasts including a tour through Kew’s Japanese cherry collection and a feature on the wild flowers that thrive in the Gardens. We also head Down Under, with a young team of horticulturists, to Tasmania as they trek through 'where the wild things are’ to gather seeds for the collections at Wakehurst and the Millennium Seed Bank. And we talk to Iain Parkinson on how he manages Wakehurst’s natural areas and native plants and animals. We have been busy!
It’s out on 3 March – we really hope you’ll like it.
Best I get on with the summer issue now!
Did you know that all the events, courses, lectures and tours at Kew and Wakehurst are listed together in Kew magazine?
Christina accepts a Kew Publishing award at the Garden Media Guild awards in 2012.
Christina joined Kew in 1999 after finishing a BSc. degree in Plant Ecology and an Advanced National Certificate in Horticulture. After initially working as a horticulturist in Kew’s Arboretum and the Hardy Display section (on the Grass Garden) she went on to become Festivals Interpretation Officer between 2002-2008, helping Kew’s onsite visitors understand what makes Kew tick. In the meantime she completed an MA in Garden History, a subject that continues to be one of her passions.
Christina was short-listed for a Garden Writers Guild award in 2007 for one of her articles in Kew magazine, and is the author of Kew’s Big Trees, published in 2008. She became editor of Kew magazine in September 2008. “I see Kew magazine as a window on the world of Kew,” she says. “I hope between its pages the many facets of Kew’s work and the people who make it happen are revealed for all to see and encourage readers to continue to support Kew.”
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