On a cold, damp and grey morning on 5th February we met boarded a cosy coach outside our usual meeting place to head off to Kew Gardens. The journey coincided with major road works on the A12 and increasing traffic meant we arrived later than expected but Bala was there to greet us and showed us around the inner sanctum of Kew orchid houses. Interestingly enough the orchid plants there exhibited fewer flowers than expected despite perfect conditions! It was nice to get in the warm though. Bala displayed her usual enthusiasm-great to have a job that truly follows your interests, and she answered questions any asked by our members.

After our tour we walked across the park to the Princess of Wales Conservatory. Inside there were amazing displays of orchids, mainly vanda, phalaenopsis and dendrobiums, arranged in spectaculars ways amongst the permanent planting. Only the pictures can give an impression of the colour! The theme was “India” and it definitely brightened up the dull day.

Unfortunately we had to leave the glasshouse and the gardens as the time got near to closing but we felt that the gardens would be better left until there was something to see-it has been a long miserable spell and everything was still dormant.

Many thanks to Bala and her husband for showing us around again!