A day at Kew

On Thursday we visited The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. I used to live opposite the gardens and when my daughter was small I used to go there almost every day. I haven’t been for a few years so it was nice to revisit.

I loved the water lilies in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, covering a pool that has enormous fish in, cruising under the huge lily pads like sharks. We didn’t see the iguanas that my daughter keeps telling me about, but apparently there are two iguanas living in the conservatory, roaming amongst the tropical foliage.

There are some beautiful trees at Kew, as you’d expect, and the different colours and textures of the bark fascinate me. We found lots of shaggy parasol mushrooms, Macrolepiota rhacodes, growing on bark chippings under a huge cedar of Lebanon. They are closely related to my favourite edible fungus Macrolepiota procera – the parasol mushroom, which we forage every autumn and enjoy breadcrumbed and fried.  The shaggy parasol, however, can cause digestive upsets in some people so although it tastes as good as M. procera I’ve never risked trying it.

Here are some pictures of things that caught my eye at Kew.

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