I loved my time at the Kew Royal Gardens in Richmond, England.
This is the Palm House, a beautiful Victorian glass and iron structure built in 1844-1848. It is the first sight I saw here and remained my favorite throughout the day.
I couldn't get enough photographs of it and I had to come back and see it again before I left for the day.
This visit was in April, 2011, in early spring and blooms were bursting everywhere.
I was lucky enough to be here early in the day to take pictures when the garden just opened and before it was busy with visitors.
At least of the human species, that is.
It was just as beautiful inside the Palm House with lots of plants; this jade vine striking me as one of the more unusual ones that I saw.
After walking through the Palm House, I rode through the hop on, hop off tram that will take you through the 326 acre garden with a guided tour of the most significant sights.
Such as the Temperate House and the Pagoda (above).
Trees and shrubs were blooming too in this neatly manicured, and pedicured, garden.
Nearby the rhododendrons were blooming early this year, I felt so lucky to be there to see them!
Of course, in any great garden there are a couple of water features to be enjoyed.
I love white structures in a garden, and this covered sitting area is just begging for someone to sit, perhaps be photographed or meditate to just take in the beauty of the park.
Although it may seem from my photos there were not many visitors out enjoying this beautiful garden, while I was there I was actually quite impressed with how busy the park had become that day, loaded with moms, children and strollers enjoying the large children's play area and displays set up for the upcoming Easter season.
Quiet gardens are certainly lovely to look at but they are so much more alive and inspiring when people are enjoying them and children are running and playing outside as they should be, planting the seed that a garden, above all, is a happy place to be!