The IncrEdibles event at Kew Gardens runs from May through to November and takes visitors on an occasionally surprising journey through the world of edible plants. Many people look at the glasshouses that fill Kew as places for the growth and housing of beautiful, rare and exotic plant life, failing to realise that there are also more than sixty different slightly weird and almost certainly exotic edible plants. This event is all about highlighting nature’s bounty and introducing visitors to the gardens and to some of the incredible 12,000 different plant species that we can look upon as food.
This is a festival of food unlike any other and it is hoped that as a result of visiting the event visitors will themselves broaden their view of what they eat and open their minds and larders to the edible plants that are all around them. There are a number of different activities that visitors can enjoy including fun in a boat, the first time that boats have been back in use at Kew for more than a century. Or they may prefer to walk around the giant floating pineapple, tour the global kitchen or spend some relaxing time in the picnic garden. For those with a keen interest there are workshops and talks to attend, but no matter what you are into there is something here for the whole family to enjoy.
The Tutti Frutti Boating Lake
Bompas & Parr the ‘architectural foodsmiths’ have transformed the Palm House Pond into a wonderful boating lake and interactive work of art, at the heart of which will be the a plating island in the shape of a pineapple. The work makes visitors think about the world of edible fruit and makes them think about the limited range that they eat every day. Aside from travelling by boat there is a walkway that stretches out over the water to the island where they will discover that beneath the island lies a secret banana grotto. The attraction opens at 10am and tickets for boating cost £2.50 for children and £4.50 for adults.
The Global Kitchen Garden
The Global Kitchen Garden is located opposite Kew Palace on the Great Lawn. The kitchen features a staggering ninety different edible plants from around the world. There are two inner beds dedicated to herbs surrounded by five outer beds dedicated to different areas of the globe such as South America, Europe and Asia. Pomegranate and olive trees follow a circular design as well as hanging grape vines, all of which combine to make a wonderfully fragrant and interesting place to explore.
The Picnic Garden
By the time you reach the picnic garden you will already have travelled around the world a couple of times, so take the opportunity to relax beneath a shady hop umbrella. A picnic can be collected from one of the gardens restaurants and can be enjoyed in the wonderful surroundings of Kew. While enjoying their food visitors have the opportunity to learn about the plants that make up the ingredients of some of their favourite summer drinks such as Pimms, summer fruit cordial and lemonade.