Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kew Gardens

The end of this week was much better than the beginning, thank goodness. I ended up going to some nice schools (although one child was suspended out of my year 6 class on Friday) and finished the week off by gate crashing the Academics party at Bar Ha Ha at Charing Cross. Even though Courteney, Rebecca and I don't actually work at their schools, we thought that since we all met through Academics and there would be free alcohol, we should go and "support the cause". It was a very good evening even if I can't work out English people to save my life.

Today I went to Kew Gardens with Davina. The gardens are only a short distance away from my place and Davina had a free ticket in because she is taking a school group there this week. The gardens are beautiful although I am not sure I would pay the money to go and see them. I think the Botanical Gardens in Sydney are just as spectacular, although as a school excursion for high schoolers I can see many benefits.

Each section of park is different and they have created a garden of small focus gardens. My favourite was the senses garden where you walked through five sections each dedicated to a different sense. Unfortunately since it is only the beginning of Spring here, a lot of the flowers were not out, but the half a million Daffodils did a great job of making up for it.

Scattered around the park are greenhouses dedicated to different plants. The rainforest one was mind blowing and it was almost as if you walked through the doors into another country. They pumps a very fine mist of water through a sprinkler system on the roof. The mist is so fine that even when you put your hands in it you can't feel the drops of water. You can walk up the tall spiral staircase to a level that runs across the roof and look down on all of the winding vines and canopy of leaves.

The most interesting greenhouse was the one for desert plants. They had a section on animal eating plants. It would be great to see the plants lure and tease their pray into their death traps. I wonder if they have to feed the plants insects since they are in the greenhouse and now out in the fresh air? To get to the animal eating plants you walk through this virtual sea of pink, white, red, yellow, violet and green. It was a visual overload!
Back to school tomorrow. Fingers crossed for a better week this week.

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