5 months ago

Kew Gardens is getting a big refurb

‘Tis the season for big life improvements, and Kew Gardens is hopping on the January bandwagon with the announcement of their refurbishment.

Kew Gardens was founded in 1759, so it’s no wonder that it’s often in need of little changes to keep up to date with the demands of its visitors… Of which there are many. Every year over 2.5 million people descend to SW London to see the 50,000 different plant species (and over 7 million preserved specimens) that the Gardens hold, making this UNESCO World Heritage Site one of London’s most popular attractions.

Credit: Mizzi Studio

The plans for the refurb are two-fold. First up is the Orangery. The gardens have submitted planning applications to Richmond Council to extend the terrace attached to the Orangery. The idea is to lay gravel on 320 square meters which can then be used for more outdoor seating during the warmer months. Currently any overspill from the restaurant that the Orangery houses takes to the lawn and the movement of chairs and tables on the grass causes damage to the lawn. By laying down gravel and providing a larger area for customers to sit, the hope is that the lawn will be harmed less than it currently is. The proposal also includes an addition of potted trees on the terrace to add to the leafy aesthetic. The Orangery itself is a Grade I listed property, so listed building consent will need to be granted before this extension takes place. The planning application states that- if consent is granted- that the work should be completed by March 2024, just in time for spring and summer visitors to enjoy the new outdoor space.

Credit: Mizzi Studio

The second plan is for a brand new garden to replace what is currently the ‘Secluded Garden’. The ‘Carbon Cycle Garden’ will be an educational, immersive space that aims to teach visitors about “ fundamental earth systems that regulate our climate, including the Carbon Cycle“. It’ll be centred around a pavilion made out of completely sustainable materials and will include 25 species of climate-resilient trees and beautiful landscaping, all whilst educating on how visitors can reduce their carbon output. The 30 year old Secluded Garden isn’t an overly inspiring part of Kew at the moment, so the idea also hopes to inject a new enthusiasm for a part of the garden that is currently not frequented often.

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