The Tropical Extravaganza at Kew Gardens was the perfect place to visit on a grey, showery day in London.
Me and my daughter spent a happy morning in the Conservatories surrounded by lush tropical plants, with fabulous zingy coloured flowers.
We had lunch in the Orangery Restaurant, my only regret is that we weren’t there later on for the vanilla orchid inspired tea,
…… did you know that the vanilla pod is the seed pod of the vanilla orchid (vanilla planifolia)?
Orchids and tropical plants don’t figure in the plant palette of garden designers, unless they’re lucky enough to be working in somewhere like Singapore. But Phalaenopsis (moth orchids) make gorgeous house plants, although they look delicate they’re pretty tough and flower for weeks with little attention.
Mine are kept away from direct sunlight and heat and watered very occasionally into the top of the pot, then I remove any excess water after about an hour. When they’ve finished flowering I cut the stem back to the second bud and a new flowering stem grows.
Most house-plants, including orchids, die from overwatering.
Kew Gardens Tropical Extravaganza is on untill 6th March 2011