It was a sunny day in mid-March when I returned to Kew, having decided when I visited last summer that I’d come back to see the spring flowers.
I love magnolias because they put on a fabulous display, celebrating the spring in glorious perfumed pink and white dresses. They’re the floral equivalent of Disney princesses.
A few of the magnolias were in bud, while a few were almost finished, but most were at their best. A cream-coloured one was dropping its petals constantly, like confetti.
Daffodils are one of the most cheerful flowers and could be found almost everywhere. A few purple crocuses hovered around the edges, which was pleasing to discover, as I’d assumed they’d be finished by the time I visited.
Carpets of blue scilla flourished in the shady patches under the trees, looking from a distance like bluebells because they’re the same colour.
I saw a couple of ancient trees I hadn’t seen last time. The black locust tree, which is nearly 300 years old, and the Japanese pagoda tree, which is propped up with bricks.
Venturing into the glasshouses, which although humid were bearable at this time of year, I looked at palms, ferns, orchids and other heat-loving plants.
There were no roses yet, of course, but the camellias were a good substitute, boldly offering flowers in red, pink and white.
A parakeet was pecking the blossom from a tree, perhaps knowing how good a contrast green and pink are. There were woodpigeons in the same tree, but they didn’t show up so well.
I think I like springtime Kew even better than summertime Kew.