A Year At Kew

Author: Rupert Smith


The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew was recently voted the UK’s favourite garden and in July 2003 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ranking it alongside Stonehenge, the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal. Over a million visitors flock to Kew each year to enjoy the glories of this beautiful garden, which holds a special place in our horticultural history.

Accompanying a new BBC2 series, A Year At Kew is a revealing month-by-month journey through the garden, following the work of the multitude of dedicated gardeners, visionary scientists, enthusiastic botanists and talented landscape architects who work hard to maintain the unrivalled collections and their environments for future generations.

In each chapter we’re introduced to some of the spectacular monthly highlights at both Kew and its country estate at Wakehurst Place, including the unrivalled orchid festival in February, the famous rhododendron displays and the stunning autumn colour of the sweet chestnut, one of Kew’s oldest trees. We also follow some of the stars of the TV series and see how their enthusiasm and skills play such a vital part in the garden’s success.

Beautifully illustrated and with extensive behind-the-scenes access, A Year at Kew offers a unique look at the private life of the world’s greatest botanical garden and captures the passion and commitment of those who work there.

The above text is quoted from the inside cover of the book.


Rupert Smith writes regularly on television and the arts for the Guardian, Radio Times and many other publications.

He is also the author of several books, including the novels, I Must Confess (1998) and Fly on the Wall (2002). He is a long-time visitor and admirer of Kew Gardens.

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Published by BBC Books