Visitors to Kew Gardens can take in the world’s longest double herbaceous borders, to be known as ‘The Great Broad Walk Borders, ’from Tuesday (July 7).
These breathtaking borders will sweep along 320 metres of Kew’s famous Broad Walk, reminding visitors of the value of global plant conservation and of Kew as the global resource for plant knowledge.
Around 30,000 plants will offer a bold diversity of textures and vibrant colours through the growing season, with a peak display between June and September.
The Broad Walk was originally landscaped in the 1840s by William Nesfield to heighten the drama of the approach to the newly-constructed Palm House, which was completed in 1848.
Along both sides of the Broad Walk, Nesfield laid out an intricate embroidery of formal beds, which were designed to create apromenade of great horticultural beauty.
Kew’s manager of garden design, Richard Wilford, is the man responsible for creating the beds of horticultural splendour, bringing swathes of summer colour into the most popular area of the gardens.
Each section of the borders has been designed to a different theme, with some grouped into plant families and others selected for their spectacular colour and form.
Among the summer perennials are some choice species propagated from Kew’s collections. They include the rose-purple Tennessee coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis), the South African (Berkheya purpurea) with pale purple flowers held high above a rosette of prickly leaves, and another South African, the tiny Cotula fallax, which has finely cut silvery foliage and yellow pompom-like flower heads.
Richard Barley, director of horticulture, learning and operations, said: “I am incredibly excited to see how the newly-designed Great Broad Walk Borders will enhance Kew’s extraordinary landscape and highlight the natural beauty of plants, provide breath-taking summer colour and remind us of their importance to the health of our planet.
"The Kew team has worked tirelessly to create horticultural history, with a development that will be known worldwide for both its sheer scale, and show-stopping beauty.”
The borders will be further highlighted by weekend activities, showcasing the history, design and beauty of this horticultural spectacle.
Every themed weekend will take a closer look at the borders and will include a host of activities; from adult colouring and pop-up shops to garden games and a picnic area.
For more information on opening times and forthcoming activities, go to the Kew Gardens website .