Meet the experts guided tours

Event details

Tuesdays at 11.30am. Tours last a maximum of 1½ hours.
Venue: 
Kew Gardens
Price: 
Included with entry to the Gardens

Event overview

Discover a new plant or fungi each month on a guided tour with our knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff.  Go behind the scenes to areas of the Gardens not normally seen by the public.  Gain an insight into the different aspects of work that Kew undertakes in areas of science, horticulture and conservation.

During the guided tour you will meet the expert staff who care for the plants and fungi growing in the collections and those who undertake research and conservation work behind the scenes.
You'll come away with a much greater understanding of Kew's important work around the world and how we help with conservation.

Depending on the featured plant or fungi the tour could include a visit to the Jodrell Laboratory, the Herbarium or one our Nurseries. You'll see how Kew's research can be used to help people across the globe with re-forestation and finding alternative crops for farming in remote areas.

  • Tours will be mainly outside, but some behind the scenes areas may also be visited
  • All locations are wheelchair accessible
  • There is a limit of 15 people per tour and places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Please be at the information desk by 11.15am at the latest as the tour will start directly at 11.30am.

May 2017 - Rhododendron

Introduction to Rhododendron

The genus Rhododendron (including Azalea) is well known to gardeners for its stunning displays of colourful flowers. It is in the family Ericaceae, along with other acid soil loving plants such as heathers (Erica and Calluna), blueberries (Vaccinium) and the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo).

Rhododendrons under threat

Approximately one quarter of all Rhododendron species are under threat of extinction in the wild, with one species already extinct (R. retrorsipilum) and another known only in cultivation (R. kanehirae). The centre of diversity of Rhododendron, on the border region between China, India, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, has been historically difficult to access, but Kew (together with Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh) has recently made major Rhododendron collections from Vietnam. This is an important part of the global conservation effort for Rhododendron.

Toxic pollen – friend or foe?

Kew scientists are studying toxic compounds in Rhododendron ponticum and looking at their levels in both native and non-native populations. They have shown that there is a substance in the nectar that is toxic to honey bees but not to bumblebees. However, the levels are lower in the non-native populations than in plants growing in the native range.

Rhododendron at Kew

In the late 1840s, the first Director of Kew, William Jackson Hooker, sent his son Joseph to search for plants in the Himalayas. His adventure brought back 25 new species of Rhododendron, which were then planted in the Rhododendron Dell, an area originally landscaped by Capability Brown.

Joseph Hooker’s collection of herbarium specimens and wood samples are just a small part of Kew’s amazing Herbarium and Economic Botany collections.


The Meet the experts guided walk is included with entry to the Gardens. 

Save on the price of your ticket when you book online


June's tour

The tour for June 2017 will feature legumes (Leguminosae).


 

Themed daily walking tours

Event details

Daily at either 12 noon or 2pm depending on the tour – each tour lasts approx one hour
Venue: 
Kew Gardens
Price: 

Included with entry to the Gardens

Event overview

Programme of themed tours for 2017

 

Hooker at Kew

2 April to 27 August 2017, Thursdays and Sundays only at 2pm

To celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, Kew’s most illustrious Director, there will be an additional tour. Walk in his footsteps and find out how instrumental he was in shaping botany and Kew.
 

Fascinating Flowers

1 May to 31 August 2017, daily at 12 noon

Discover the ingenious ways in which flowers attract bees, birds and other animals to help them produce seeds for future generations.
 

Around the World; a treasury of Trees

1 September to 31 October 2017, daily at 12 noon and 2pm

As we journey into the autumn enjoy the brilliant colours of Kew's rare and beautiful trees.
 

Kew in Wartime

1 to 30 November 2017, daily at 12 noon

Find out how the two World Wars affected Kew Gardens and some of the surprising contributions the gardens and staff made to the war effort.


Details of the tours

  • Tours start at 12 noon or 2pm, depending on the tour and leave from the Guides' desk at Victoria Gate Plaza

  • Each tour lasts approximately one hour

  • There is a limit of 15 people per tour and places are allocated on a first come, first served basis

  • Please be at the Guides' desk 15 minutes before the tour is due to start.

For more information please contact tours@kew.org


Save on entry to the Gardens when you buy online

Beautiful British bees

Event details

Tuesday 18 July 2017, 10.30am to 4pm
Venue: 
Kew Gardens
Price: 
Course fee: £70 (£60 concessions, Friends of Kew) 15 places available

Event overview

About the course

This new watercolour painting day, suitable for all levels, offers participants the chance to study different types of British bees in both an artistic and scientific way. Each student will have the use of a microscope to study the enjoyable and absorbing anatomical beauty of bees. Using her vast range of bee specimens, entomological artist Cath Hodsman, will discuss how bees pollinate, how they fly, how they produce food for their young and generally, pay homage to these fascinating and iconic insects.

Participants will then use either a microscope and specimen or macro photographic material to produce a detailed and unique piece of art to take home.


The tutor

Cath Hodsman is one of the country’s foremost entomological artists. Through her scientific approach to her work she has been made a member of the Royal Society of Biology and Royal Entomological Society. In the past, Cath has taught courses for the Royal Horticultural Society and the Royal West of England Academy and has contributed work to publications such as Countryfile magazine, the British Beekeeper’s Association and Leisure Painter.


How to book

Please email adulted@kew.org with a contact telephone number or call 020 8332 5641

Download the spring/summer short course brochure

 

 

A midsummer's evening in Kew Gardens

Event details

Wednesday 21 June 2017, 5.30pm to 9pm
Venue: 
Kew Gardens
Price: 
Course Fee: £100 (£80 concessions, Friends of Kew) 10 places available

Event overview

About the course

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to accompany award-winning nature photographer, Robert Canis, on an evening of plant and flower photography at Kew.  Let the low, soft, midsummer light stimulate your creativity.

Robert is keen to impart his knowledge on photographing the natural world and will advise on things such as composition, lighting, exposure and on how to achieve creative, eye-catching images. Throughout the workshop Robert will be reviewing your images and giving feedback. He is a passionate and enthusiastic communicator and at the end of this workshop you should leave full of inspiration keen to put into practice the many ideas, hints and tips that he has given you.


The tutor

Robert Canis is a professional nature photographer who is represented by three international agencies. For over 20 years Robert has been leading photography workshops and tours both in the UK and overseas, and regularly gives illustrated talks to a wide range of groups. He is the recipient of numerous awards including Botanical Britain category winner in the British Wildlife Photography Awards, twice highly commended in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and twice highly commended in the International Garden Photographer of the Year competitions.


How to book

Please email adulted@kew.org with a contact telephone number or call 020 8332 5641

Download the spring/summer short course brochure

 

 

 

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