The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The lecture begins with the early history and development of the gardens. From the creation of two Royal pleasure grounds and a small botanic gardens, to major developments under George III, masterminded by Sir Joseph Banks, which established the royal gardens as the ‘Greatest Botanic Gardens in the world’. The lecture also recounts stories of plants collected from the Empire, Botanic gardens founded in New Territories, the development of economic crops that changed the world and advances in taxonomy and plant science.
Discover how the death of George III plunged the garden into crisis only to be saved after decades of disinterest, by the personal intervention of Queen Victoria. Then follow its dramatic regeneration under later directors who drove Kew to the forefront of ‘cutting edge’ scientific and horticultural research where it remains until this day.
The second part takes us out into the gardens and greenhouses to enjoy some of the plants gathered over several centuries that form the largest collection in the world. It concludes with a plea for the conservation of the plants that are essential to survival and for the future of our planet.