23 November 2015

Christmas at Kew Gardens!

It's that time of year again and Christmas is can already be seen across London, with its spectacular illuminations and festive atmosphere. Everyone is spreading their own Christmas magic and Kew Gardens is no exception. By Wednesday 27th 2015 up until 2nd January 2016, this magnificent garden will have a beautiful seasonal transformation!

Decorated Christmas trees at Kew Gardens

But with or without the splendor of Christmas, Kew Gardens is truly one of London's most beautiful places. Situated in the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, it holds the world's largest collection of living plants. The Collection includes more than 30,000 different kinds of plants together with an impressive herbarium containing over seven million preserved plant specimens. It also hosts a library which includes more than 750,000 volumes and over 175,000 illustrations. In addition, in 2003 Kew Gardens was added to the list of world heritage sites by UNESCO. The gardens even has its own police force, Kew Constabulary, which has been in operation since 1847.

The gardens as we know them today were founded in 1840, created from the exotic garden at Kew Park, but their origins can be traced all the way back to the merging of the Royal estates of Richmond and Kew in 1772.  Ever since then it has been structured, built and changed by many, although some of its earlier creations still remain today, such as the lofty Chinese pagoda built in 1761 by William Chambers, and the adjoining ‘Dutch House’. This was purchased by George III in 1781 as a nursery for the royal children, and is today better known as Kew Palace.

Other popular features are Palm House, the Nash and the Princess of Wales Conservatories and Queen Charlotte's Cottage, just to mention a few. 

Though nothing can really compare to the glorious greens and colourful shades of nature, the seasonal illuminations that light up the buildings, trails and plantings do create a special kind of warmth and delight. With the mile-long trail that will lead visitors past dancing lit-up fountains, a scented fire garden and many decorated Christmas trees, Kew Gardens will most definitely plant a wonderful seasonal mood in both mind and heart. 

At least it has done so here at Grays and while we count down the days ‘til Christmas, we have collected some of our own splendid examples of nature.  
18ct gold, jade and diamond leaf earrings. Offered by Spectrum

20th century, white paste, leaf shaped, double clip brooch. Offered by Gillian Horsup.

Edwardian platinum cluster ring, c1910. Offered by John Joseph.
18ct gold, diamond & ruby enamel bee necklace. Offered by Spectrum.
20th century, vintage, gold tone mesh snake brooch. Offered by Gillian Horsup.

1890s, large bronze jay bird signed by Bergmann. Offered by Mariad Antiques.

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