When it comes to my illustration, I take inspiration from what is around me and as a result, I’m always eager to explore new places. I like to use my experiences to fuel my mental creativity bank and help shape the art I wish to create, hopefully making something with meaning. In a way, the piece can also double as a visual snapshot into a past moment of my life and my thought process at the time of creation.

I’ve been wanting to visit Kew Gardens in Richmond for a long time; a place plentiful in greenery that is only a little way out of central London seemed like my idea of heaven. It did not disappoint!

The vivid colours of the plants and trees around me were absolutely stunning. You could feel autumn creeping in just from looking at the trees. Their lush canopies dip dyed warm reds and oranges around the tips. I felt like I had to take a picture of every reddening tree I saw.

I didn’t realise this before visiting but there is a heavy Japanese influence in the gardens which is something that pleasantly surprised me. From the Japanese Gateway to the Minka House and Bamboo gardens, it really felt like I was getting a little slice of what its like to be in Japan (a place I have dreamed of visiting since I was little). There was also a Pagoda which we sadly did not get to see as its under construction until Spring 2018.

Life imitating art? Trying to get incorporate my fashion interests into my photos but I’m not much of a poser! I had some fun in the Bamboo gardens.

Oh hey, look a cliché shot of my feet among fallen leaves. To be honest I just wanted to take a photo of my shoes which I love so much – I’ve owned them for a few months now but am only starting to get a lot of wear out of them.

The palm house was one of my favourites. The sheer size of the trees looming above me made me feel like a little bug and I am in awe at the size of some of the leaves – what a contrast to the little amount of London foliage we have. It was so humid in there and every so often some mist was spritzed to keep the air moist. I felt a bit like an explorer in the jungle, minus the creepy crawlies thankfully.

We also visited The Hive, a temporary installation that will be up until November 2018. I did take some photos of it but I’m afraid I didn’t do it much justice. What you may come to learn is that I adore bees. They are such fascinating and intelligent creatures; a vital part of our ecosystem that are taken for granted.

The amazing thing about the installation is that the lights inside it are connected to one of the beehives in the garden. The illumination of the lights represent the bees’ communications and the vibrational changes occurring within the hives.

After hearing such fascinating information, we sought out one of the hives in the Queen’s garden. Taking a moment to stop in the gardens just makes you realise how lively it was. We watched, as the sun was beginning to set, the bees flit from one vibrant flower to the next. It was such a peaceful experience.

Sadly we had to leave at 6 and even though we had spent a good four hours in the gardens, it didn’t nearly feel like enough time.  So inspired by our outing, me and my boyfriend said we will return again in the Spring.  Next time we will enjoy some afternoon tea overlooking the Palm House Pond before watching the sunset again (this time until it gets dark) in the Queen’s garden with the bees buzzing between the flowers.

After visiting, I can safely say that it has become one of my favourite places in London. If you’re looking for a quiet place to reflect and feel a bit of love from nature, this is the place to go.