PRINCESS OF WALES CONSERVATORY.
Just over an acre in size, the conservatory was designed by the architect Gordon Wilson and opened in 1987 – it’s name honouring Princess Augusta, who was one of the leading founders of Kew. Five years earlier, the commission arose from the need to replace 26 small and dilapidated buildings with a modern, state-of-the-art structure. It is Kew’s third major glasshouse, yet the most complex and conserves plants from 10 climate zones via a computerised system. The distribution of plants from cooler climes around the outer areas, glass extending right to the ground and areas built underground minimise the consumed energy and maximises solar power. Water dragons are left to breed freely in Zone 1 as a mean of natural insect control. It is truly a diverse, magical place and has matured gracefully over the last 30 years.
1. Canna 2. Strongylodon 3. Pyrostegia 4. Tropics 5. Pelargonium 6. Piper 7. Lotus 8. Myriocarpa 9. Aloe 10. Nymphaea 11. Ficus 12. Agapetes 13. Pandanus 14. Alocasia 15. Anthurium 16. Hibiscus 17. Grevillea All photographs by Amir Schlezinger.