Celebrating half a century of Whipple-Scrumptious hi-jinks and a three-month exhibition of the healing properties of plants are among the highlights of the forthcoming year at Kew.
Throughout 2014 visitors of all ages will find plenty to occupy their time no matter which part of the 300 acre site they choose to see.
Top of the list will be the annual summer festival which runs from May 24 until September 7 with this year’s theme being the benefits of plants on human spirit and health.
Guests will be able to wander freely along a 1km Barefoot Trail, take part in Tai Chi sessions in the arboretum, join a large-scale knitting project to make cosies for trees and enrol on weekly workshops to learn how to concoct soothing lotions and potions from ingredients growing in their own back gardens.
Before all that, is the Easter holidays (April 5-21) which this year will be marking 50 years since author Roald Dahl created his beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory series.
Golden Tickets will need to be at the ready as you head to the Television Room in the Princess of Wales Conservatory and listen to Oompa-Loompa poems and Roald Dahl’s hilarious Revolting Rhymes.
You can create your own Willy Wonka-inspired chocolate bar in the Chocolate Room or join the traditional Easter Egg Hunt.
Other events include next month’s fabulous Orchid Festival, which offers a great way to escape the winter blues by visiting the 27 degree Princess of Wales Conservatory to marvel at the collection of colourful and tropical blooms.
July sees the return of the Kew the Music series of concerts, which will take place in a new part of the gardens this year due to the on-going five year renovation of the Temperate House where they are usually staged.
Elvis Costello and Simple Minds are already confirmed and more star names will be revealed in coming weeks.
The full calendar of events is as follows:
January 15-August 31 - Overleaf - the paintings of Susan Ogilvy in The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art.
February 8-March 9 - The Orchid Festival in the Princess of Wales Conservatory
March - See Kew host the biggest spring flowering display in the country. With 5 million bulbs including daffodils and crocuses filling the gardens with colour, this is the perfect setting to enjoy Mother’s Day (March 30).
April 5-21 - 50 years of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
May 24 - September 7 - The Summer Festival (also don’t miss the bluebells in the conservation area at the end of May)
July 16-20 - Kew the Music
September - the return of the Kew the Movies outdoor cinema
October - Experience Kew’s beautiful autumn colour and the changing canopy of Kew’s Arboretum from the top of the Xstrata Treetop Walkway.
November - January 2015 - Christmas at Kew returns for another season of stunning illuminations and trails in the Gardens after dark. Expect a Christmas market , mince pies, mulled wine and much more.