Life at Kew Gardens

Life at Kew Gardens

by Kevin Martin: May 2021


May this year has been busy, busier than normal.  A four-part documentary, Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom, filmed for Channel 5, aired this month, and I was involved with press releases and other promotional work that I don’t normally do.  Filming has continued on other projects, making life very varied.

One task that I don’t relish is controlling the Oak Processionary Moth.  Careful treatment with insecticides is needed to control this pest, whose hairs are a serious irritant.  I recall, in the early days when we were treating it, Dr. Glynn Percival arrived suited with the safety clothes used for handling asbestos.  On-lookers wondered what was going on, but soon realised he was properly equipped.  The pest is now sufficiently under control, and each year myself and the team work with the team at Bartlett’s to spray the necessary trees.  It does mean a very early start one morning, spraying at 4am so that the area being sprayed is safe for visitors.

It is great to have trees coming into leaf now. Quercus castaneifolia is always a particular favourite. But really, there’s too many to choose from!

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