The Kew gardens are the Royal Botanical Gardens in London an cover an area of 121 hectares.
The site incorporates the world's largest collection of living plants including the species that are very unusual for our climatic zone and a lot of realy amazing buildings and structures like glass houses that are the masterpieces itselfs. Some of them housing hundreds of palm trees, some the cactuses, orchids and other incredeable plants.
The main glass house called Palm House (1844-1848) was designed by architect Decimus Burton and iron -founder Richard Turner who basically foolowed design principles developed by Joseph Paxton and John Claudius Loudon.The uncommon collection of cactuses and tropical species have been built up at the Princess of Wales conservatory(In front of the conservatory there is asculpture "A Maximis Ad Minima" by Eduardo Paolozzi )
The other green house, called Temperate House is a group of glass houses that is the world's largest surviving Victorian glass structure - designed again by Decimus Burton and Richard Turner.
Very interesting feature of the lake, further in the center of the site is recently constructed The Sackler Crossing, the minimalistic, granite and bronze bridge by John Pawson and Buro Happold.
There is also a replica of the karamon( gateway) Nishi Hongan -ji temple in Kyoto and the Pagoda within the traditional Japanese garden.
The gardens have a fantastic walkway by Marks Barfield Architects ( the architects of the London Eye), called "Xstrata Treetop walkway" 18 metres high and 200 metres long that allows you to see the trees' crowns from a high level, and see the miraculous panoramas of entire complex.The walkway was designed as a steel construction which with time was supposed to rust to a tree- like appearance.
and what's even more interesting its shape was based on a Fibonacci numerical sequence.
Below, underneath the ground there is another attraction designed, called Rhizotron
which is basically exhibition explaining all the proceseses and relationships between the living organisms and trees.( for other famous sctructures by Marks Barfields Architects refer to my post from May 2011 http://architectureofeurope.blogspot.com/2011/05/london-london-eye-south-bank-of-thames.html )
The gardens offer so many attractions that it is almost impossible to visit them all at once .
My girlfriend and I do love "concrete" more than the plants, but after an experience with these gardens we must say we now appreciate the gardens a lot more than we did it before.