Kew celebrates Japan Posted on October 8, 2021

à la japonaise

A bright sunny day yesterday brought out the crowds at Kew. The cafes always seem to be the main attraction; the grand central borders drew a desultory crowd, but you are never jostled in the arboretum, the rock garden, or in the newly-ordered plant family beds. On each visit I struggle to get my head round its gloss on DNA, with limited success. Admittedly, until leaves start to turn, it is a quiet gardening moment. Drifts of cyclamen are the brightest spots, and the yellow of rudbeckia and mauve of asters dominate the main borders.

The Temperate House was celebrating Japan, with a jolly installation of paper and streamers, high in its domes, with haikus and bonsai and massed white, yellow and red chrysanthemums that represent sunrise, though rather modestly by Japanese standards. The Japanese celebrate the imperial flower with extravagance of artifice that has no equivalent in the West.

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