Kew Gardens

For the 22nd year running the Orchid Festival returned to Kew Gardens and we decided to go along. It's the best way to brighten a wintery day and add a splash of colour into your weekend!

I love Kew Gardens - though I do think it's overpriced - it's a lovely day out with relaxing walks and perfectly tropical greenhouses to duck into when the heavens open.

We were pretty grateful for their shelter on this visit. As we entered the gardens I hadn't quite prepared myself for the blankets of crocus that welcomed us. The first signs that something better was coming.

Whilst we appear motivated and I've often been told 'you're always doing something', believe it or not I am pretty damn good at being a slob and spending the weekend doing absolutely nothing. On this particular Saturday I woke up wishing we didn't have tickets to this event and wanting nothing more than to remain in my pj's, curled up on the sofa, on a very grey Saturday. Fearing we'd waste the money, as we'd booked these tickets back in November, we eventually pulled ourselves out of bed and out of the flat by late morning. Once I saw the crocus carpets, I knew it was the right decision.

These were just an added bonus. The real reason we were there was to see the orchid spectacle that visits annually. We'd been before and each year it takes on a different theme - this year's theme was India, Indian markets to be precise. And you would never expect the colours and elaborate creations that hide within the glasshouse nestled amongst the trees.

My biggest tip, save the orchids for last. It's a great way to warm up after a nice long walk and with buckets of colour dripping from the walls, it's sure to provide the spectacular finale that the winter gardens just wouldn't be able to match. That being said, winter is a great time to visit Kew. It's quiet and the trees have no leaves, making the treetop walkway even more exciting. I must say, on a breezy day like our visit, it certainly makes the experience a whole lot more hair raising once you're in the trees!

Obligatory selfie - Hiiiiii *waves*.

One of the crazy things about Kew is the sheer amount of Parakeets that you'll see and hear, regardless of the time of year. These little feathered limes line the treetops like you wouldn't imagine.

There are plenty of these furry guys too if that's not enough.

As the clouds rolled in and the threatening sky started to leak, we headed for the Americas. If you can't be in the real thing we can at least make believe ;)

Mr B was pleased we were both warm and dry after a refreshing walk around the gardens.

Even in the depths of winter, these greenhouses transport me to a better day, a warmer place, a dream of something other than muddy ground and gloomy skies that seem to arrive just in time for the weekend.

I love everything about this place. The beautiful architecture and the shadows cast by the tropical palms. The only thing not to love in here is the way my hair looks when I escape from its humidifiers - seeing as it was raining I figured it didn't matter on this occasion.

There are photo moments at every angle, if you get a break from wiping the condensation of your camera lens - the other difficulty of visiting in winter!

I like to photograph plants and naturey things. You might have got that by now. But I often fight off Mr B stealing the camera to snap me - 99.9% of which I instantly delete :P

Isn't this staircase just dreamy.

The Glasshouse

Once we were done exploring, we made for the door to check out how the weather was getting on. With the prospect of even more rain, we decided we'd had a long enough walk around the gardens earlier in the day. We made a beeline for the next greenhouse to avoid the rain. We're often very lucky with weather but lady luck wasn't with us this day.

Stepping into the greenhouse, our poor luck and soggy boots were soon forgotten and replaced by the view of a giant Peacock! Made of Orchid flowers!!! Pretty insane. Pretty PRETTY.

Something funny & worth knowing about Mr B... He has a weird little obsession with Cacti. He oohs and ahhs everytime he sees them, like a child seeing a zoo animal for the first time. It's quite adorable and very lovable.

There are lots of cool flowers in here as well as orchids - great to test out or Macro lens.

And prime picking to help Mr B get in touch with his feminine side hehe.

Around another corner and deeper inside, we came across a tuk tuk display. It was quite the spectacle, difficult to truly capture in a photo.

And we met an Orchid Monkey <3 So cute!

The displays were great. They took me back to the feeling of our honeymoon and in my head I was sipping a mai tai and laying in a deck chair watching the waves.

I do love a mini Pineapple.

The walls of Orchids are what blow me away each time. There are just so many.

All in different shapes and colours, some I've never seen before.

The Indian market theme was well executed and the streams of colour transported me a little further than the rainy gardens of Richmond.

I spied a tiger!

Everywhere you looked there were flowers and twinkling lights and displays to observe.

I love a bit of photography inception. A photo of a photographer taking a photo of the pretties that are in your photo. 

Some of the flowers are particularly unusual.

Especially the bird shaped ones!

It's a brilliant festival to visit. So colourful and creative and a great excuse to get out of the house on a rainy Saturday when you're dreaming of Spring. Pencil it in your diary for next year, tickets go on sale in around November time if I remember correctly. It really is a lovely way to spend the day and to properly wish the winter season a big farewell. Regardless of weather, chuck on a pair of boots and get out there.


Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

- MTWP xxx

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