Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kew Gardens

The Kew Gardens (as in Royal Botanical Gardens) was about a 15 minute walk from where Robin was attending class at The National Archives. I wandered around the gardens until Robin got out of class.

The oldest tree in the gardens is this 300-year old Sweet Chestnut. It has seen nine monarchs rule over England.  I can't wait to see my seedlings in Santa Fe get this old.

It’s too early for some blooms, but the daffodils are looking good.

A view from the balcony of the Temperature House.

The Japanese section of the gardens.

The Palm House. Lots of palms, ferns, and tropical stuff in here, including heat and humidity.

I see they use the Williams Method for pruning here. It seems to be working pretty good here for the past several hundred years so I guess I’ll stop doubting Robin when she pulls out the garden shears.

A view from the balcony of the Temperature House.

A Tree Top Walk.

A view of the Temperature House and the Japanese tower from the Tree Top Walk. 

This Cyclad in the Palm House was brought here in 1775.

To get to The National Archives building, you walk for 10 minutes from the train station through a lovely little upscale neighborhood in Kew. You might notice that upscale doesn't mean big yards.

I’ll bet it doesn’t take all day to mow this lawn. Not if you have a riding mower.

Nice picnic potential.

The stairs to the balcony of the Temperature House.

This little excursion has given me lots of ideas for the Mermaid Tavern Gardens.
 Probably not a Tree Top Walk though. 

A Bit of Backtracking

While I’m here at The National Archives cafe (at Kew Gardens) with a good WiFi connection, it’s a good time to catch up on posting some photos, before I head out for the gardens.

A large furniture store in our neighborhood has a beautiful display in the front window called “Masterpieces," color coordinating furniture with masterpiece paintings. 

The painting makes me want to buy the couch. 

Yesterday’s lunch cheeseburger from The Bowler pub, near the LMA (London Metropolitan Archive). 

Jamie’s Wine Bar, across the street from the Noel Coward Theatre. 

Old homeless person is my guess. 

After requiring a couple of escalators to get up to the sidewalk level,
you realize just how far underground you were.

Without these instructions at every crossing (“Look Right” or “Look Left”), I would have been flattened long ago. Love the font, but could someone please adjust the spacing between the L and the O?

A Drawing A Day

It’s so easy to spend the entire day shooting iPhone photos that these sketchbooks are in danger of going home empty. 

Ergo, I have another New Rule: at least one drawing a day. 

Yesterday I walked from Robin’s class at the LMA, down Farringdon Street to the Thames River where the Black Friar pub is located. On location I drew very rough construction lines, then later added very very rough details.
Shakespeare, with some other investors, bought a building in the Black Friar area but it burned down in The Great Fire. One of Mary Sidney’s buildings, Baynard Castle, was also destroyed in that fire. 

Curtains at the Academy Hotel
I must be in a “Curtain Phase.”

Tube To Kew

Robin’s Wednesday class is at The National Archives, located adjacent to Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanical Gardens. It houses 1000 years of UK history, including William Shakespeare’s handwritten will.

While Robin is in class I’ll tour the gardens, although it’s probably a bit early for the quintessential Kew Gardens experience. I suspect, however, it’ll look like the Garden of Eden compared to The Mermaid Tavern Gardens in Santa Fe.

Meanwhile, waiting for the Gardens to open at 9:30 and waiting for Robin’s class to start, I’m in the National Archives Cafe enjoying a very good WiFi connection.

The Tube to Kew. Tubes are popular destinations for Readers and Thinkers.

The National Archives reception area. Robin waves to the camera. 
Oh wait, she’s saying “no photography allowed.”

The National Archives is the largest archive in London.