Join us to experience the visual wonders of Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, an extraordinary landscape in what was once a small hamlet on the outskirts of London.
For centuries the formerly small hamlet of Kew attracted royals, gardeners, famous painters, and prominent scientists. In the 18th century, princess Augusta and a plant savvy prime minister laid the foundations of what has now become one of the most famous botanical gardens in the world. The rich history of this once royal estate now a celebrated space of science and beauty includes the Kew Palace, a royal kitchen, the royal kitchen gardens, and the wonders of futuristic buildings from the Victorian age.
From its immodest beginnings as a princess’s pleasure garden, Kew was transformed into one of the largest living collections of plants after princess Augusta’s son, King George III, hired Captain Cook’s prominent voyage companion Joseph Banks to connect to plant experts from all over the world. Kew Gardens then evolved as a center of economic leadership in the Victorian era, as it became a source of wealth for British entrepreneurs profiting from the study of imported, and often pirated plants. Throughout its history, Kew captured the interests of men and women passionate about the economic and artistic power of plants.
Led by an expert on garden history, Camelia Shakti, this interactive seminar will help you gain insight into the role of the plant kingdom in fostering the rise of science, culture, and wealth in Britain. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the beauty and history of one of Britain's most beautiful and enticing gardens.
Camelia Shakti is a moving storyteller who creates artistic experiences through plants, movement, and narrative. She specializes in creating sensory environments for people to discover and enhance their relationship with history. She has a postgraduate degree in Landscape Design from Sheffield University and a Masters in History of Art. Her journey takes her to faraway places living in Indian yoga ashram where she practiced storytelling and working on garden projects and organic farms around Europe.