Kew Gardens in February (with bonus orchid display) (London)

Off to see the orchids…

This is not a pineapple tree (but it was next to the pineapple plant)

I have visited Kew Gardens before (see here and here).  But never in February.  D and I therefore decided to visit to see the special orchid exhibition (like I had done previously at Wisley).

Sadly, between November and March, most of the buildings at Kew are closed, including Kew Palace.

The seat on which we had lunch in our deserted garden

To avoid the £15 pp entry charge we used a Rail Voucher I’d previously received for a delayed train to get there free from Waterloo and then courtesy of South West trains, we were entitled to 2-4-1 entry.  Parfait.

So £7.50 pp for a day out isn’t bad, and the train station is only a couple of minutes’ walk from the garden entrance, so there’s no hardship.  In fact, the row of shops outside Kew Gardens Station is delightful too to warrant a trip.

We bought some out of season Moerheim Beauty heleniums from The Kew Gardener  (a snip at £1 each – usually about £8  (at “London prices”) in season).

Is that a baby cock with the tiny tail? It was very funny

If I were to choose, I’d go to Wisley for their orchid display.

The orchids at Kew didn’t wow me.  The display in the shop was more impressive.  I have for the first time ever been able to keep an orchid alive – in the summer months the flowers drop as soon as I bring them into the tropical heat of Central London but it seems during January and February they can live.

That said, I wasn’t going to spend between £20-30 to be proven wrong (the one I currently have was in M&S at £4 knocked down from £16 as it was apparently on the last day of its sell-by-date, albeit guaranteed for a further 4 weeks of guaranteed flowering).  Gotta love M&S!

What made the trip was a fairly empty gardens and the warmth of the winter sun. We didn’t find many snowdrops or bulbs at Kew either, which means if I were doing a Feb trip again, I’d definitely plump for Wisley. Kew, for my money, is perfect for a May, June or September visit (but then isn’t everywhere fit for visiting in May? All them rhododendrons!).

When visited: February 2015

Website: http://www.kew.org/

Stars out of 5 (for February): ***

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