Everyone, please take a second to read that title out loud. It’s hilarious.
Anyways- Museum Trip no. 4 was to the lovely Kew Gardens!
We got to check out the Economic Botany Collection with a tour by the curator. The collection was a symptom of Britian’s expanding empire. Knowing the properties of plants and medicines was incredibly important to having a healthy and thriving empire. It also was educational for those going to the ‘colonies’ or anyone coming back.
The term ‘economic’ here is a bit awkward to our modern ear. It is meant to imply usefulness. So, it was a working collection about what plants looked like and what they were used for.
The objects above are early tests of vulcanized rubber! As jewelry.
The piece above is a Maori coat. The collection has been working with Maori weavers and communities. The coat is unique in its material and has helped the source community to re-learn some of their heritage which was stomped out.
Kew’s collections also include specimens of almost every known plant. The room below is one of the many galleries that hold them. Basically, this place helped scientists organize and classify plants, and it still does.
Kew of course also has lots of pretty gardens! It was a royal garden for awhile- George the 2nd and 3rd both lived here at times. Afterwards it was integrated into the government to become the national botanic gardens.
The water lily house:
The Palm House 🌴
Check out my previous post (with the rating!) here!