History and design
The Queen's Garden was conceived in 1959 by Sir George Taylor, then Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, and officially opened by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II ten years later.
The design involved the recreation of arcades and steps associated with the Dutch House. It also contains several pieces of sculpture including a marble satyr, a venetian well head and five 18th century terms, commissioned by HRH Frederick, Prince of Wales in 1734/5 and considered to be the oldest pieces of sculpture remaining at Kew.
There is also a wrought iron pillar from Hampton Court Palace and a gazebo on a mound. One element is a parterre enclosed in box hedges and standing in the pond in the centre of the parterre is a copy of Verocchio's 'Boy with a Dolphin', the original of which is in Florence's Palazzo Vecchio.
The plants in the Queen's Garden are exclusively those grown in Britain before and during the 17th century. Their labelling differs from Kew's norm, since they include not only today's botanical name and family, but also:
- the common name in the 17th century
- a virtue, or quotation from a herbal (plant book)
- the author's name and date of publication