Kew Gardens

Palm-House, Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens .—Kew  is one of the pleasantest villages near London.  When we have crossed the Thames from Brentford, by the bridge, we come upon the green, bounded on three sides by countryfied-looking houses, and on the fourth by the splendid gardens.  The place is very easily reached—by omnibuses from the city to the Middlesex end of the bridge; by steamers every half-hour during summer; and by trains from the Waterloo and the North London Stations.  It may be well to remember, however, that the so-called Kew Station is not actually at Kew.  There is another, however, near the Gardens.  By far the most interesting object at Kew is the famous Botanic Gardens.  This is a very beautiful establishment, maintained at the public expense.  It contains a rare collection of plants, obtained from all parts of the world, arranged and labelled in admirable order by Dr. Dalton Hooker.  The flower-beds, hot-houses, and conservatories, are very numerous.  The great palm house, with its exotics, reaching to a height of 60 feet, and constructed at a cost of £30,000, forms a grand object.  The new temperate-house  was constructed from the designs of Mr. Burton; 212 feet long, 137 wide, and 60 high, with two wings 112 feet by 62.  Extensive new works have been added—including a lake having a communication with the Thames by a tunnel under the river-terrace, and a winter-garden, or enclosed conservatory, more than twice as large as the palm-house.  Three detached buildings have been fitted up as a Museum of Economic Botany.  The Pleasure Grounds  form a kind of Park contiguous to the Botanic Gardens; the gardens are 75 acres in extent, and the grounds 240 acres.  This beautiful place is freely open to the public in the afternoon, on Sundays as well as week-days, after one o'clock.