These borders will sweep along the 320 metres of Kew’s Broad Walk, with 30,000 plants presenting a "bold diversity of textures and vibrant colours through the growing season, with a peak display between June and September".
The Broad Walk was originally designed in the 1840’s by William Nesfield to "heighten the drama of the approach to the newly–constructed Palm House (completed in 1848). Along both sides of the Broad Walk, Nesfield laid out an intricate embroidery of formal beds, which were designed to create a promenade of great horticultural beauty."
Kew manager of garden design Richard Wilford "has respected William Nesfield’s original design intent, creating beds of horticultural splendour for our visitors". Each section of the borders has been designed to a different theme, with some grouped into plant families and others selected for their colour.
Plants within the Lamiaceae (sage) family, one of the most researched families in Kew’s laboratories, Rudbeckia and asters ‘Pixie Red-Eye’ and ‘Little Carlow’ among the Compositae (daisy) family, are included.
Among the summer perennials are some species propagated from Kew’s collections include Echinacea tennesseensis, Berkheya purpurea and Cotula fallax.
Kew director of horticulture, learning and operations Richard Barley said: "I am incredibly excited to see how the newly-designed Great Broad Walk Borders will enhance Kew’s extraordinary landscape and highlight the natural beauty of plants, as well as provide breath-taking summer colour! The Kew team has worked tirelessly to create horticultural history, with a development that will be known worldwide for both its sheer scale, and show-stopping beauty."