Palm House Parterre brings a taste of South Africa to Kew
This summer's planting is inspired by Namaqualand in the Northern Cape, and features plants from this biodiversity ‘hotspot’ to highlight biodiversity issues including environmental threats, climate change and invasive plants.
21 Jul 2010
Palm House Parterre (Image: Nicola Merrett, RBG Kew)
Kew's green and pleasant land resembles the dry and dusty plains of Africa in more ways than one this month. The normally verdant lawns have been reduced to brown patches due to lack of rain, but a little part of Africa is creating a brilliant swathe of colour in front of the Palm House.
Designed by David Shipp, Decorative propagator, following a trip to Namaqualand, the Parterre has been divided into three areas, each highlighting different biodiversity issues. The first, filled with cape daisies (Ursinia speciosa), represents a damaged landscape being recolonised by pioneer species. The central area represents a healthy natural landscape with many different species, and the third is a landscape needing management to avoid damage by invasive species.
During the planting of the summer bedding, all the staff in Kew's Hardy Display team are called upon to lend a hand. First the winter bedding is removed, and then just under 20,000 plants have to be planted out in the space of a week - so it's very much all hands on deck!
- Find out more about the Namaqualand Parterre
- Kew magazine has an article about David's trip to Namaqualand in the latest issue - out now!
- More about Kew's work in Africa
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