It's a gray November day at the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens on the outskirts of London. Gone are the spring bulbs I photographed earlier this year that bloomed in neat borders and flourished in front of the Victorian greenhouse. Gone are the long summer days, most of the flowers and the blue skies. Colorful flowers are replaced by changing leaves on trees.
Glowing yellow, orange, and red leaves are everywhere. Holly shrubs and even holly the size of trees are blooming bright red berries everywhere. Everywhere? Yes, everywhere.
Fall color is a great reason to see this botanical garden. But this fall there is a new reason to visit the Kew--the Xstrata treetop walkway.
Visitors can climb 118 steps up to the walk around the tops of the trees for a sweeping bird's eye view of the botanical gardens. This beautiful iron and glass greenhouse structure above, the Temperate House, is stunning against the landscape.
The Pagoda peeks through the trees.
Back on the ground, inviting trails are covered with leaves fallen from those treetops
and there is one pretty vignette after another
to make me want to keep snapping up photographs as I walk through here.
Not to mention the pretty birds
who seem quite comfortable posing for my camera.
Growing up in the Midwest I have always been fond of autumn--the chill in the air, the colors of the trees, apple picking, caramel apples and pumpkin pie. These are great memories but the season is just not the same now that I live in Southern California. So this chance to enjoy an autumn visit unexpectedly in London made me fall in love with the Kew all over again.