The Economic Botany Collection



Who would have thought that camping in London
 could be nice and even safe ?
And a  bit noisy, oh yes..


Around the City there are 5 campings.
The one where I stayed, 
in Chertsey, was founded in the early 1900th century!
Maybe they didn't have these lovely caravans , yet..


the purpose of my adventure was to attend a talk
inside the beautiful scenery of Kew Gardens.


Mark, the Curator, was so helpful and gave us many information
about the collection held there


as a result of Centuries of research, expeditions 
and collectors' donations 
that still happen


Some of the boxes still have their original packages!


 I couldn't resist to photograph the system 
to store so many items in a small building,
using this sliding doors that reveal to be cupboards 
with thousands of shelves.


This is the Caribbean lacebark collected in Jamaica,
where the lacy structure
 comes out naturally from the bark


It was exploited by our western 
great sense of commerce,
and now it is a very rare plant which is difficult to re-establish... 

This bonnet was just made with lacebark and ribbon..isn't it amazing?


We attended as well talk about Indigo,
by the lovely Jenny Balfour-Paul
an interesting trip
in her researches which started in the nineties,
when the interest about Indigo was 
only for antropologists, 
more then for artists and textile designers...



Above some dried leaves od Indigo plant ( Indigofera Tinctoria ), 
and a block of the dried powder 
which was used to be pressed for practical storage.


Jenny told us that many different parts of the planet and their populations
 used to extract blue from different plants,
 but the interesting thing is
that these plants all had the indigo molecules inside.
So the blue, basically, was one for all of them.

In the next post 
I hope to show you some of the beauty of the Gardens, 
which I 
had to explore even if the time was so short!
I 'd rather had run in them , than miss the opportunity!!

Image credit: Hallie Rose Taylor

















Lucia Para