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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

Celebrate '30,000 species we can feast on' at Kew Gardens this summer

22nd April 2013

From May through November this year, visitors to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew will be treated to a totally unique, extraordinary new festival.

They'll be able to take to the Palm House Pond in a fruit-shaped vessel, enter a secret grotto underneath a giant floating pineapple island, and relax under a hop parasol in a pop-up beer garden.

The occasion? Kew Gardens' first ever IncrEdibles festival, a celebration of the world's edible plant life - from humble domestic fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices to the world's most exotic specimens.

"Who'd have thought," say organisers, "that Kew’s beautiful glasshouse, the Palm House, was not merely a tropical escape in the heart of London, but home to over 60 weird and exotic edible plants?"

With the vast, iconic Victorian building serving as the central hub, the festival will see dozens of delightful exhibits and happenings popping up across the grounds. This veritable "banquet of offerings" hopes to educate and entertain attendees on the colourful origins and histories of the plant-based foodstuffs they eat every day.

A major draw is sure to be Tutti Frutti, an installation on the Palm House Pond. This "fruit salad boating lake and participatory artwork" includes a giant floating pineapple island - celebrating Kew's "extensive bromeliad collection". Visitors can take command of specially decorated rowing boats, made to look like slices of papaya, durian, melon and pear, and even enter a mysterious grotto under the island.

The Global Gastronomic Garden, meanwhile, showcases over 90 species of edible plants from throughout the world - think pomegranates, grapes, olives, and specially planted herb beds.

At the Beer Garden, visitors can expect to learn about the botanical ingredients in our favourite beverages, from wine to ginger beer.

Kew Gardens is around ten miles from the centre of London, and served by the Kew Gardens tube stop. Visitors staying in London hotels from May 25th should consider making the trip, as this promises to be a genuinely unique summer for one of the world's largest collections of living plants.

Tickets to Kew Gardens start from around £14.50, and include entrance to the temporary exhibits.


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