The great thing about Kew Gardens is the way that even on the first sunny Saturday in months, it never seems crowded.
Of course, the great pieces of architecture – the Palm House and the Temperate House victorian glasshouses – attract crowds, and deservedly so. But scattered gems like the new Alpine house, a small but breathtaking 10m arc of glass, are less so. And the grounds contain multitudes, built and repurposed over 200 years: an ancient Ice Cellar, a couple of galleries, the brilliant Orangery. In six years of several visits a year, there are still plenty of things I haven’t seen. And new bits – like the temporary Mediterreanean Garden this summer, or the boxy modernist botanical illustrations gallery opening next year – are being created all the time. There’s always something new at Kew, whenever you visit.
I feel pangs at leaving this place, which is good: it means I’m staying in touch with my London.