The Coffin Tree can grow to be among the tallest trees in the world!
This fish was watching me.
This Cycad is older than Kew Gardens. Cycads as a bunch are older than the dinosaurs!
And for reference, here's a cycad being munched on by a Triceratops
This is a Banksia, named for a local boy...
I stopped for a burger halfway through. It was a hell of a burger! Venison. You heard me; a venison burger! Venison, in a burger. I'll stop now.
There were piranhas
The turtles were nothing like the ones you see on the telly though. They weren't even armed! Bit naff really.
Now the Kew Pagoda is a bit of a local landmark. You can see it from over the Thames in Brentford, from half of Richmond and Sheen, and of course from the top of a 65 bus. So I decided to see where in the Gardens I could grab the best long shot of the Pagoda.
Here's it up close
The Treetop Walkway is the highest publicly-climbable structure in the Gardens. The Pagoda is taller but you aren't allowed up it. Here's the walkway:
I expected the views from there to be amazing, and they are! You need to get that high and see Brentford, see Sheen, to remind yourself that you're still in London.
But the view of the Pagoda was obscured by tree branches.
Still, at least in the Winter you can see it at all. In the Summer that'll be a wall of green. The view from the top of the Temperate Greenhouse (the biggest greenhouse) is significantly clearer, albeit with a big tree blocking part of it
Best view however was straight down the Cedar Vista from the corner of that wee lake in the North of the Gardens:
These parakeets live all over Richmond Borough. A shitload escaped from some private collection back in like Victorian times or something and the rest is history. Their ubiquity in Strawberry Hill has seen them nicknamed "green pigeons".
I saw a Japanese Minka house. These were made of wood and ridiculously versatile and durable.
I saved the Evolution exhibition for last. It was cool, though some prat had vandalised part of it. It was full of fossils, ancient living species and models of ancient extinct species. These Liverwort have been around for 400 million years - twice as long as the mighty Cycads!
Aaand I'll put the rest on a side page, because there's bloody loads of them! Suffice it to say that a great day was had and I'll be back there in the Spring.