Gardening / Cuttings: Kew offers crocuses by the million

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GO TO Kew to see the carpet of 3 million fat Dutch crocuses, the legacy of 1.5 million bulbs given to the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1988 by Reader's Digest. The gift was an inspired way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Digest's UK company.

There are 10 different varieties in the carpet, which stretches all along the walk to King William's Temple. Sparrows have a well-known fondness for ripping gold crocus to shreds, so the Kew carpet is mauve, purple and white only.

The quickest way to get to the crocuses is through Victoria Gate, close to Kew Gardens Underground station. The gardens are open daily from 9.30am to dusk. Admission is pounds 3.50, concessions pounds 1.80, or a family day ticket is pounds 9.