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Plants, People and the Products of War: a Centenary Tribute

2 July 2014 to 29 August 2014, 9am to 5pm

The First World War at Kew - An exhibition of artifacts showing Kew's involvement in the war.

Event details: 
weekdays only (CLOSED Saturday and Sunday and 25 August)

Library, Art & Archives Reading Room, accessible from Kew Green via the Herbarium Gate (the large gate to the right of Elizabeth Gate)


Free. Entry to the Gardens not included.

Related festival: 

A composite of images from the exhibition

About the exhibition

This exhibition will showcase a selection of the fascinating artefacts, photographs and letters from Kew’s Library, Art & Archives, Economic Botany and Herbarium Collections – each providing a unique view into Kew’s involvement in the First World War.

These will include:

  • Kew staff risking their lives to collect plants from battlefields
  • personal stories of Kew staff from our rich Archives
  • the rise of women gardeners, who replaced men at war
  • an array of weird and wonderful plant materials as ‘products of war’
  • Kew’s role in advising on planting and landscaping of war cemeteries
  • majestic oaks as living monuments of symbols of endurance

‘Kew Gardens at War’

This exhibition is part of a Kew-wide wartime commemoration project exploring a long-forgotten part of Kew’s rich history.  We will be offering a programme of events and releasing related stories during the commemorative period 2014 to 2018.

Entry to the Exhibition

Entry through the Herbarium Gate (the large iron gate to the right of Elizabeth Gate). Come to the Herbarium Reception where a member of staff will direct you to the exhibition which is being held in the Library, Art and Archives. Booking in advance is not necessary but if you're visiting in a group, it's advisable to phone ahead on 020 8332 5414.