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On a bright mild day, we drove through areas showing good autumn colour before arriving at Kew Gardens in time for coffee.


We went our separate ways - some members walked, and others took the hop-on hop-off Kew explorer land train on which a commentary was given outlining the history of the Gardens.











































The Hive was installed on a hill in 2016 and is 17m high.   The structure contains thousands of pieces of aluminium and was designed by English artist Wolfgang Buttress. It gives one an experience which reveals the secret world of the honey bee. We walked inside onto a glass floor.  Many light bulbs have been installed at different levels which were connected to a hive at a secret location nearby.  The bulbs lit up whenever bees entered the nearby hive or were communicating with each other; you could in fact listen in to hear the honey bee chorus.



The fine bright weather was perfect for our visit.   When we left Kew, it began to rain, and we drove through some heavy traffic and rain before getting back to Worthing, where it was a fine evening. 



Text and photos by Janet Paterson






























The Temperate House


It was interesting to see the newly restored Temperate House - the world’s greatest glasshouse.   It had been closed for five years for restoration.  There are thousands of plants within from the temperate zones of the world.

The treetop walkway in the arboretum took one 18 metres high into the tree canopy.  A lift was available to use for the less able.  The trees were not in full autumn colour on this day.


In the Princess of Wales Conservatory, we were fortunate to see the Corpse Plant (Amorphophallus Titanum known as titan arum) which rarely blooms - and once fully open lasts 24-36 hours.  It is endemic to western Sumatra in South East Asia.  The flower has a pungent odour, hence its name.  It can grow up to 3 metres high and this plant had a tuber weighing 118 kg - the biggest one recorded at Kew.  It wasn’t fully open when we saw it.


The Great Pagoda built in the 18th century and used frequently by the Royal Family at that time had been recently restored.  Unfortunately, it was not open that day.


The Palm House and Alpine House were also visited.


The Hive was installed on a hill in 2016 and is 17m high.   The structure contains thousands of pieces of aluminium and was designed by English artist Wolfgang Buttress. It gives one an experience which reveals the secret world of the honey bee. We walked inside onto a glass floor.  Many light bulbs have been installed at different levels which were connected to a hive at a secret location nearby.  The bulbs lit up whenever bees entered the nearby hive or were communicating with each other; you could in fact listen in to hear the honey bee chorus.


Up to the Treetop Walkway

The Titan Arum

Views of The Hive outside and inside