The Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009
Cistus in the Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009
Fremontodendron in the Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009
Genista in the Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009
Phlomis in the Mediterranean Garden at Kew Gardens July 2009
The Mediterranean Garden was definitely the high point of my visit to Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew in London in July of 2009. It is truly a stunning garden. The placement of the garden around, but mostly in front of King William's Temple, is superb. The planting greatly enhances the structure. It appears to be an abandoned edifice of ancient Rome in the midst of a Mediterranean wilderness. The architecture of the portico is of the Tuscan Order, a simplified version of the Doric Order, columns with base, unfluted shaft & simply molded capital, plain entablature. It was built in 1837.
The planting design is quite informal. While there are many plants native to the Mediterranean Basin, contrary to the information at the Kew Gardens website, it does not 'depict a typical Mediterranean natural habitat.' There are many plants here that are native to the Americas, including Fremontodendron californicum (California Flannel Bush) New World fan palms & Yucca. But this mixture is common in Mediterranean gardens around the world. Agave is often seen in Italian gardens. For more information on Mediterranean plants, read The Mediterranean Garden.
'Kew’s aim in creating the feature was to highlight the economic uses of many endemic Mediterranean plants, the diversity of life the habitat supports and the conservation efforts needed to ensure its survival. Stone pines (Pinus pinea) Tuscan olive trees (Olea europaea) and the green spires of Italian cypress (Cypress sempervirens) grow above shrubs such as Cistus and lavender (Lavandula lanata). Information boards explain the uses of some of the most economically important plants,' from the Kew Gardens website.