England's Kew Gardens: A Museum of Botanical Life

Tour the world's largest collection of living plants and some exotic specimens.
rock garden

An 1882 Rock Garden

Kew's rock garden features mountain, Mediterranean and moisture-loving plants from around the world.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Felicia Feaster

Image courtesy of Felicia Feaster

Kew's rock garden features mountain, Mediterranean and moisture-loving plants from around the world.

During my Collette tour of English gardens, I spent a day wandering around the remarkable Kew garden in a plant-besotted stupor. Established in 1759 and extending over 327 acres, the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew is practically a theme park of growing, a reminder of the astounding diversity of the natural world. 

There are treasures around every corner, and an array of awe-inspiring garden “rooms:” a Japanese garden and Great Pagoda designed by William Chambers in 1762, a woodland garden, 19th century rock garden and vegetable gardens, among many others. A celebration of plant life from around the globe, there are groves dedicated to redwoods, azaleas, magnolias and rhododendron.  A water lily house so steamy your glasses and camera lens immediately fog up upon entry features waterborne flowers in hallucinatory neon colors. Walks between the countless garden tableaux are punctuated by centuries-old trees that dot its landscape like living temples to time’s passage. 

Throughout the decades, Kew's design has profited from the talents of such renowned landscape architects as Charles Bridgeman, William Kent, Lancelot 'Capability' Brown and William Chambers and the garden remains an essential visit for garden tourists.

A Sample of Kew's Plant Collection

See All Photos

Shop This Look

Kew Trivia

  • Kew boasts one of the largest compost heaps in Europe.
  • Kew participates in the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, the largest plant conservation partnership in the world. In this program seeds of the most imperiled plants, and of the most use to the future, are conserved outside of their native habitats.
  • In 2003 Kew was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for illustrating significant periods of the art of gardens from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
  • Kew contains the largest Victorian greenhouse in existence, the Temperate House.
  • The experts working at Kew are an important resource in forensic plant science and aid the police in solving crimes in which botanical materials are involved.
  • Kew contains the world's largest collection of orchids.

Next Up

U-Shaped Kitchen Design Ideas

Explore U-shaped kitchen design ideas, and get ready to add a stylish and efficient design to your home's kitchen.

Kitchen Layouts: Ideas and Options

Browse options and ideas for kitchen layouts, and prepare to configure your kitchen in the most stylish and efficient way possible.

English Garden Design

Learn the elements of enchanting English gardens, and discover ways to translate that style to your yard.

Winter Container Gardens

Dress up a few containers with cool-season flowers, vegetables and herbs, to keep the color coming as winter arrives.

Galley Kitchen Designs

Find out more information about galley kitchen designs with this article that details everything you need to know about this popular kitchen layout.

Outdoor Fireplace Design Ideas

Learn about the different options for outdoor fireplace designs.

Flower Bed Ideas for Beginners

Improve your yard's curb appeal with front yard flower beds that deliver a colorful first impression.

Two-Toned Kitchen Cabinets

Browse your options for two-toned kitchen cabinets, and prepare to add an eye-catching design that can make your kitchen feel larger and increase your home's resale value.

Raised Bed Garden Design

Give your garden a lift with raised beds. Learn how to design and use these elevated growing areas.

Replacing Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Replacing your kitchen cabinet doors can breathe new life into an outdated kitchen. See our tips below on how to give your kitchen a facelift without spending a fortune.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.


Luxe for Less

12pm | 11c

Home Town

1pm | 12c

Home Town

2pm | 1c

Home Town

3pm | 2c

Home Town

4pm | 3c

Home Town

5pm | 4c

Home Town

6pm | 5c

Home Town

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Home Town

8pm | 7c

Home Town

10pm | 9c

Home Town

11pm | 10c

Home Town

12am | 11c

Home Town

2am | 1c

Home Town

3am | 2c

Home Town

4am | 3c

Home Town

5am | 4c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.