The highlight of the day today was a visit to Kew's library, which was born out of the Herbarium (which we will visit next week) and which is actually known as "Library, Art & Archives
" because it does not manage only books... have you ever visited the Marianne North Gallery
I usually prefer the outside, but on a rainy day we looked for shelter in the Gallery and it was rather amazing, with plants and animals in bright colours around you on all walls... I was personally also fascinated by the story of Marianne herself: what a brave woman, travelling the world in the late 19th century and painting plants...
But, back to the library: it might look like any other library, but it is pretty vast to start with (it contains more than 500,000 items, 90 languages), a maze of collections, with special thematic sections scattered across the gardens' buildings in Kew and at Wakehurst Place. You can read more on its history and significance
. We got to see the first edition of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" today: there is a special section of the library that contains all the oldest of books...
Everyone can access the Kew library, and you can search the catalogue online
. I myself think I will have to go and have a proper browse on my own one day, as so much information can be overwhelming: I do not think I have taken it all in from the tour this afternoon...
The morning I spent edging the South Canal beds. While driving there in our tractor, my colleague showed me a tree, pointing out it was a champion. That was a coincidence! Over the weekend, in a visit to RHS Wisley
, I had spotted the label you can see pictured, but had no time to investigate it further, so it was on my to do list.
Champion trees are the ones that are "exceptional examples of their species (Royal Forestry Society
) and several of the UK & Irish champion trees are registered in The Tree Register
On a totally different subject, today ended in a positive way, with me finding out that I passed Level 3 "The management of plant health". I'm halfway through that now...
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