Gardeners at Kew Gardens have made horticultural history – by creating the world’s longest double herbaceous borders.
Known as The Great Broad Walk Borders, they stretch 1,050ft (320m).
Around 30,000 plants will reach their peak display between June and September each year.
Kew’s director of horticulture, Richard Barley, said: “The team worked tirelessly to create horticultural history, with a development that will be known worldwide for sheer scale and show-stopping beauty.”
Each section of the borders has been designed to a different theme – some selected for colour and form, with other areas hosting plant families.
They include the Lamiaceae (sage) family, one of the most researched families at Kew’s laboratories. Visitors looking for inspiration will be able to seek out golden rudbeckias, and the vibrant asters ‘Pixie Red-Eye’ and ‘Little Carlow’ among the Compositae (daisy) family, known for its bold summer shades.
Summer-flowering perennials include choice species propagated from Kew’s collections – such as the rose-purple Tennessee coneflower, Echinacea tennesseensis and the South African Berkheya purpurea which has pale-purple flowers that are held high above rosettes of prickly leaves.
The Broad Walk, now home to the double borders, was originally landscaped in the 1840s by William Nesfield to create a dramatic approach to the newly-constructed Palm House, which was completed in 1848.