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Behind the scene - Kew Gardens alpine nursery


By AndrewR


Have you ever wondered how the Botanic Gardens put on such a good display of alpines in the spring? When I saw this poster, I knew I had a chance to find out

This is just one of several greenhouses holding their stock

A close-up of a few primulas

Some plants are grown in cold frames – it is now warm enough for the covers to be taken off

While others are grown in plunge beds. The sand insulates the pots in winter and stops them from drying out too quickly. The front bed contains specie tulips. Note one or two pots are covered by a bag of very fine mesh. These have been hand pollinated and now protected from contamination by flying pollinators

What potting mix is used? Here is the answer

And there is a good choice of pots

There was also an empty eight foot long stone trough but I had trouble getting it under my jacket to smuggle out so we had to leave it there!

There were several staff there to chat to and to get answers to questions. There were also a few displays – one for example showed how DNA sequencing could identify the parents of hybrid plants.

Here are one or two plants that caught my eye.
Fritillaria chitlarensis

Juno iris

Tecophilaea cyanocrocus

Tristagma uniflora

A selection of fritillaries

So next time you see a display of alpines, you get some idea of the work that has gone on to produce a display like this

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Looks well up together wonder how many work on that section
My first reaction was who and how do they clean there clay pots I have hundreds of them and while soaking them in rainwater does reduce the lime deposit scrubbing them is such a pain,perhaps they have a dishwasher ? probably an apprentice.Although I see a few of the Frits are in plastic

21 Mar, 2016


Gorgeous colours

21 Mar, 2016


Brian - although I didn't look closely, there was a rota for pot cleaning on the wall in one building. A guy called Jon seemed to have got the short straw as he was doing more than anyone else! I expect it's the students there who do it, all part of their training.

21 Mar, 2016


Isn't it all very Clean and Organised....a real object lesson.

21 Mar, 2016

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