Summer Strolls Though Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens, a botanical garden situated in southwest London, is a spot that I have been longing to visit for quite some time. I'll never forget seeing the undeniably grand Palm House for the first time in a book titled "London: A City Revealed," which uncovers some of London's most fabulous spots. Since then, I have had my sights set on seeing Kew, and finally got to pay the lush grounds a visit this summer with Pete. I'm so happy I waited to visit Kew with him, as a summer stroll through beautiful gardens is nothing short of romantic. Kew Gardens was founded in 1840 and is home to one of the largest and most diverse botanical collections in the world. The garden plays an integral role in plant sciences, with a collection that expands to an impressive 30,000 different species. 

Before walking over to Kew, we stopped at Jackson and Rye in Chiswick for lunch. I enjoyed the eggs Benedict and a hot chocolate, while Pete went for the equally delicious-looking banana pancakes and a creamy cappuccino. A self-professed door-lover, I could not help but indulge in some shots of the many colourful and gorgeous entranceways during our walk through Chiswick to Kew.

Upon entering Kew at Elizabeth Gate, we were greeted by vast, manicured lawns and decorative gardens full of vivid flowers. I felt as if I had gone back in time to Victorian England in the late 19th century, expecting to see glamorous women in petticoats, climbing into horse drawn carriages. Many of the plant species were ones I had never even heard of or seen before, making it so fascinating to wander through, feasting my eyes on such beautiful mid-summer sights. It is truly jaw-dropping how many plants our Earth is capable of producing. 

We eventually made our way to the Wes Andersen-esque, rust-orange Kew Palace, which, most ideally, lies on the banks of the Thames. Behind the stately home was what remained of the palace's grounds, including quaint herb gardens, ivy-lined archways, pruned hedges, and cherub fountains seemingly made for royalty.

My favourite spot in Kew was most certainly the green-as-ever Palm House. I had been inside greenhouses before, but nothing quite like this one. Hanging palm leaves, dripping with condensation, are illuminated by a hazy light, which streams in through the many foggy glass windows. I felt as if I was back in the steamy and tropical Tulum, Mexico. However, remove the plants, and the building itself is still truly a wonder. The structure holds a strong elegance (she is made of iron, after all), while upholding an understated sense of internal mystery. Designed in 1844 by the well-known Decimus Burton, the house is the epitome of Victorian fashion and grace.

After a wonderful day wandering Kew's grounds in the sun, Pete and I lay down under the shade of a knotted old tree to enjoy a picnic, complete with two ice cold gin & tonics. Together we laughed and reflected back on the week we had just shared and enjoyed together. I feel as if Kew will be a place we will continue to visit well into the future, basking in each other's company, all while in the romance and wonders that nature brings.