The statistics alone are quite impressive, even before you visit the spectacular new planting scheme at Kew Gardens’ newly re-established Broad Walk. There are 30,000 plants, 320 metres of borders and they were originally laid out over 150 years ago by William Andrews Nesfield in 1845-6.
But it hasn’t been until 2016 that this area has been brought to life again with beautiful planting schemes devised by designer Richard Wilford. Originally a walk of cedars and rhododendrons, the new planting includes a huge variety of cultivars and species, which represent the diversity and innovation at the heart of Kew Gardens.
The Broad Walk was first designed as a promenade between the Orangery and the Palm House, but the renewed planting scheme is a masterclass in planning for an extended season of interest, as well as how to ensure colour and vibrancy throughout the borders.
The planting is arranged into 8 different zones, some representing different plant families, while others showcase specific characteristics. These include the polinators zone, which highlights plants that are adored by bees and other polinators. There are also zones dedicated to monocots – crop plants – and also seed dispersal, echoing the invaluable work done at Wakehurst Place with its internationally renowed Millenium Seed Bank.
To celebrate the Broad Walk borders, Kew has organised celebratory weekends. The next one is this Saturday and Sunday 13th & 14th August, and includes activities dedicated to exploring the horticultural excellence behind Kew Gardens. But if this weekend’s festivities are too short notice to get to, then there is also a final celebratory weekend on Saturday 27th, Sunday 28th and Monday 29th August, which includes enjoying a range of visual and applied arts, inspired by the new borders.
Costs for the weekend events are included in the normal Kew admission price.
So, why not head to Kew to enjoy a promenade yourself? It’s surely not to be missed?
Click here for further information on opening times and directions.