What’s on this June at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst

Release date: 23 May 2023

  • The Wander Project trails now open at Kew Gardens
  • Horticultural highlights include stunning laburnum and early roses blooming at Kew, whilst signs of summer can be spotted at the Water Gardens and Walled Garden at Wakehurst
  • View Planet Wakehurst, the UK’s largest outdoor art installation at Wakehurst
  • 5x15 live at Kew’s Temperate House
  • Wellbeing events include yoga in the Temperate House and Forest Bathing
  • Short courses include papercraft, crochet and photography

Kew Gardens

The Wander Project: Now Open for Summer 2023

This summer, Kew Gardens invites visitors to embark on The Wander Project, a unique series of trails encouraging people to explore the great outdoors and enjoy spending time in nature against the stunning backdrop of Kew’s 320-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Whether visitors see themselves as Adventurers, Wanderers, Protectors, Dreamers or Time Travellers, they will be guided through their walk by a mix of inspiring leaders including Ben Okri, Clara Amfo, Clover Hogan, Dara McAnulty, Ella Saltmarshe, Ellie Goulding, Fearne Cotton, James Miller, Judy Ling Wong, Kate Raworth, Love Ssega, Mya-Rose Craig, Sam Lee, SERAFINE1369, Shiraz Bayoo and Tori Tsui.

A gently curved bridge runs into the distance across a smooth lake reflecting trees and blue sky
Lake Crossing, Wanderers trail at The Wander Project © RBG Kew

Horticultural highlights

Horticultural highlights to enjoy during June at Kew Gardens include the Peony Garden, bursting to life with colourful blooms after being replanted over the last two years.

Elsewhere, vibrant laburnum takes over the Queen’s Garden behind Kew Palace, and early roses can be found in flower behind the Palm House.

At Wakehurst, visitors can enjoy early signs of summer in the Walled Garden.

Golden yellow petals of the laburnum pergola
Laburnum pergola in the Queen’s Garden © RBG Kew

All the Flowers are for Me and Plants of the Qur’ān | Entry included in admission

Now open in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, brand-new art exhibitions All the Flowers are for Me and Plants of the Qur’ān. Acclaimed artists Anila Quayyum Agha and Sue Wickison present new works exploring themes of faith and cultural exchanges and this tandem exhibition showcases stunning contemporary sculptural work alongside intricate botanical paintings.

Gallery Six is also showcasing The Wonderful World of Water Plants, featuring an array of works from the Shirley Sherwood Collection.

Wide shot: a blue glowing cube hangs suspended in a gallery, throwing intricate shadows onto the orange walls and wooden floor
All the Flowers Are for Me © RBG Kew

5 x 15 at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew | 21 June | 7pm – 9pm | Temperate House

For this special collaboration between 5x15 and RBG Kew, five fantastic speakers; including award-winning British writer Jackie Morris, environmental campaigner Guy Shrubsole and RBG Kew’s Director of Science Prof Alexandre Antonelli, will speak for fifteen minutes on the theme of biodiversity - what we stand to lose and why we must protect the precious and extraordinary variety of our planet’s ecosystems. We’ll hear about the forgotten temperate rainforests of Britain, the hidden universe of life in our own back gardens, and words on lost and rediscovered wildlife.

Tickets include complimentary access to Kew Gardens on Wednesday 21 June, from 2pm onwards and a complimentary drink provided by Laithwaites Wine.

Butterfly on thistle
Butterfly on thistle © Sean Stratton/Unsplash

Wellbeing at Kew

Kew’s popular wellbeing events return this month, supporting both physical and mental wellbeing within the inspiring surroundings of Kew Gardens’ 320-acre UNESCO World Heritage site.

All tickets include entry to Kew Gardens and a 20% discount in our restaurants.

Tai chi | 2, 9, 16 and 23 June | 9am – 10am | Mediterranean Garden

Boost your physical and mental wellbeing with the centuries-old Chinese martial art, Tai chi, amidst the tranquil surroundings of Kew’s Mediterranean Garden.

Forest bathing | 3, 13, 17 and 24 June | 10.30am- 1.30pm | Arboretum

Inspired by the Japanese art of Shinrin-yoku, forest bathing is a sensory woodland walk alongside an expert guide, who will lead participants as they disconnect from the stresses of everyday life. Organised in partnership with the Forest Bathing Institute.

Temperate House Yoga | 18 June | 7.30am – 8.45am | Temperate House

These one-hour vinyasa flow sessions are held in the spectacular Temperate House. Enjoy pre-opening classes in the midst of 10,000 rare and endangered plants, led by Anil Jangi, Kew’s own yoga instructor.

Yoga in the Temperate House
Yoga, Temperate House © RBG Kew

Kew Publishing Book of the Month | Kew Pocketbooks: Trees by Kevin Martin

Throughout history, trees have always been important and beloved by humans; from practical to spiritual. Centres of biodiversity are essential in climate equilibrium, we simply couldn’t survive without them.

With an introductory chapter by Kew’s Head of Tree Collections Kevin Martin, this new Kew Pocketbook is a snapshot of the vast beauty and form that trees display around the world, showcased through 40 stunning paintings from the Kew archives.

Pine trees, Arboretum, Kew
Pine trees, Arboretum at Kew Gardens, Ellen McHale © RBG Kew

Short courses

Why not sign up for a crafty new short course at Kew Gardens?

Led by a selection of experts, these one-day courses and workshops offer unique opportunities to develop fresh skills within the stunning surroundings of Kew’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Organic gardening | 1 June | 10.30am – 4pm | Nash Conservatory

This new course with award-winning tutor and writer Christine Lavelle will teach you how to create your own environmentally friendly garden. Christine will share hints and tips on composting, fertilisers, companion planting, disease resistant cultivars of fruit and vegetables as well as border design for ornamental gardens to encourage natural predators.

Glasshouse botanical amigurumi crocheting | 9 June | 8.30am – 11am

This exclusive event, held in the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse in the world, is a unique opportunity to join TOFT founder and designer Kerry Lord in crocheting a plant inspired by our beautiful Gardens. Perfect for the budding gardener, crafter or plant-lover, TOFT bring to life some of the most popular plants and flowers in their ‘cro-your-own’ crochet range.

Botanical stone carving | 13 – 14 June | 10am – 4pm | Banks Lawn

In this two day workshop, create a beautiful, botanical-themed relief stone carving inspired by nature. Use hand tools to carve a 20 x 20cm tablet of UK-sourced limestone into an attractive artwork to take home with you. The finished pieces can be displayed indoors or in your garden.

What it takes to be an award-winning photographer | 14 June | 10.30am – 4.30pm | Lady Lisa Sainsbury Lecture Theatre

Join International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) head judge Tyrone McGlinchey FLS FRSA for a knowledge-packed workshop, perfect for photography enthusiasts. Starting with a presentation giving insights into winning pictures, you'll learn photography techniques followed by a practical ‘capture in Kew’ session and constructive image reviews – all from the unique perspective of respected, international photography competition organisers.

Wild rose paper flower workshop | 21 June | 10.30am – 2.30pm | Cambridge Cottage

Led by Susie of A Petal Unfolds, this workshop will showcase how to make paper roses in the stunning surroundings of Kew Gardens. You will get to work with a range of the finest crepe papers and be guided through some of the techniques of paper flower making which can be transferred to making a range of other varieties.

Close-up of botanical artist painting a tree
Botanical artist Masumi Yamanaka painting a tree, Meg Boldison © RBG Kew



Planet Wakehurst | All day | Free with entry

Experience the UK’s largest outdoor art installation, as the impressive Planet Wakehurst photomontage wraps the Mansion, which is undergoing restoration. The 1500m2 canvas, showcases the wealth of biodiversity at Wakehurst and will be up for all to enjoy.

Habitat Hero | Saturday 27 May – 4 June | 10am - 5.30pm | £3 for mission | Capes: £13.50 or £6.75 for members

Join the next Nature Heroes mission and learn all about our diverse habitats. Pick up an activity leaflet and complete the mission to gain your Habitat Hero badge. Suitable for children aged 4 years and above.

Make a bee hotel | Saturday 27 May – 4 June | Daily drop-in | £4.50

Get creative with this drop-in session and make your very own bee hotel. Using materials foraged from our gardens, these bee-autiful little homes will be perfect to hang in your garden or local green space to help boost the population of our pollinator friends.

Rooted on sale now | Friday 7 July – Sunday 17 September | 10am – 6pm | Free with entry

This summer, experience a range of striking art installations inspired by trees. Uncover the phenomenal power of woodland wonders as you walk through the grounds. The next Nature Heroes badge will also be up for grabs, as children can take part in the the Tree Champion mission.

Large canvas with multicoloured plants and wildlife collage
Planet Wakehurst by Catherine Nelson, Visual Air © RBG Kew


Forest Bathing | Saturday 3 June | 10am – 1pm or 2pm – 5pm | £22.50 or £20 for Wakehurst and Kew members

Based on the Japanese art of Shinrin-yoku, forest bathing allows you to slow down in a forest environment. Swedish teacher Helena Skoog will show you how to use all your senses to connect with your surroundings, drawing on the power of nature to relieve tension, relax and nourish your sense of wellbeing.

Reiki 1 | Saturday 3 June | 9.30am - 4.30pm | £95 or £85.50 for Wakehurst and Kew members

Develop the skills and knowledge to become a qualified practitioner in Reiki, a subtle energy complementary therapy. Gain the skills and knowledge for self-treatment and full treatment of others as well as learning about the chakras, the body's main subtle energy points.

Self care day | Friday 16 June | 9.30am - 4.30pm | £65 or £58.50 for Wakehurst and Kew members

This workshop will take you through creative guided meditation, negative and positive energy, cleansing, grounding, and protecting yourself on a day-to-day basis. Experience nature therapy, giving you the skills to awaken and connect your senses to nature

Magnificent meadows | Saturday 24 June | 10.30am - 1pm or 2pm – 4.30pm | £35 or £31.50 for Wakehurst and Kew members

Explore species rich grasslands and revel in the spectacle of colour and sound emanating from them. Local ecologist, Tom Forward will take you on a journey from their origins through to each species and the management of such precious grasslands.

A woman sits cross legged on the forest floor.
Forest bathing © RBG Kew


Surviving or Thriving: An exhibition on plants and us | Daily, 10am – 3.30pm | Millennium Seed Bank | Included with entry

This exhibition brings Kew’s State of the World’s Plants reports to life, telling the story of why some plants are only surviving, while others are thriving. Through film, audio, models, and a futuristic garden, explore 

the challenges that plants face and discover the vital role of fungi too.

Wooden tree surrounded by glass exhibition
Millennium Seed Bank Surviving or Thriving Exhibition, Visual Air © RBG Kew


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Notes to Editors

About Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections and scientific expertise in plant and fungal diversity, conservation, and sustainable development in the UK and around the globe. Kew’s scientists and partners lead the way in the fight against biodiversity loss and finding nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, aided by five key scientific priorities outlined in Kew’s Science Strategy 2021-2025. Kew Gardens is also a major international and top London visitor attraction. Kew’s 132 hectares of historic, landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew’s Wild Botanic Garden and ‘living laboratory’, attract over 2.5 million visits every year. Kew Gardens was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 260th anniversary in 2019. Wakehurst is home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world and a safeguard against the disastrous effects of climate change and biodiversity loss. RBG Kew received approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needs to support RBG Kew’s vital scientific and educational work comes from donors, memberships and commercial activity including ticket sales. For tickets, please visit www.kew.org/kew-gardens/visit-kew-gardens/tickets. In the first six months since implementing a new accessibility scheme for those in receipt of Universal Credit, Pension Credit and Legacy Benefits, Kew has welcomed over 20,000 visitors with £1 tickets.

About Wakehurst

Please note that Wakehurst is referred to just as Wakehurst, not Wakehurst Place. It is not a National Trust property.

Wakehurst, Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex is home to the Millennium Seed Bank and over 500 acres of the world’s plants including temperate woodlands, ornamental gardens and a nature reserve. It is situated in the High Weald of Sussex, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and focuses on wild plant collections. The Millennium Seed Bank houses and protects seed from the world’s most substantial and diverse collection of threatened and useful wild plants, making it the most biodiverse place on Earth.

RBG Kew receives just under half of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support Kew’s vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales. 

In March 2021, RBG Kew launched its 10-year strategy Our Manifesto for Change 2021. The institution’s ultimate goal is step up to help to end the extinction crisis and contribute to creating a world where nature is protected, valued by all and managed sustainably. In the wake of a global pandemic, and with the future of the planet in peril, the strategy represents a public commitment by RBG Kew to do everything in its power to reverse the environmental devastation of biodiversity loss and climate change.  The five key priorities are 1) Delivering science-based knowledge and solutions to protect biodiversity and use natural resources sustainably 2) Inspiring people to protect the natural world 3) Training the next generation of experts: 4) Extending our reach 5) Influencing national and international opinion and policy.

On May 25 2021 RBG Kew launched its new Sustainability Strategy – committing to become Climate Positive by 2030 and marking a step-change in our urgent action to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis.