Wollemia nobilis – #FreeTheKew1

The awful news came through the other day that a plant of Nymphaea thermarum had been stolen from the Princess of Wales Conservatory at the world famous Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Security of the plants I deal with both at home and at work is of uppermost priorty, be it protection from disease, accident or theft. As such, I fully sympathise with Kew and really hope there is a positive ending to the story. The article led to a conversation about the lengths gardens go to so their plants are safe from theft. The example came to mind of the first Wollemia nobilis to be planted in the UK (and to be planted away from its native Australia). The tree was planted at Kew in 2005 by Sir David Attenborough and is grown in a cage. Initially the cage was for its own protection but now is a symbol of how precious the tree is. Every time I see the tree I wonder is it time it was released from its cage? It is starting to get big and its branches stick out of the sides of the metal frame. Could the cage be re-built next to the tree to allow its story to continue to be told? This led, one sleepless night, to me writing this limerick. I hope you enjoy it…..

There once was a young man called Noble,
Who was ready and willing and able,
To go for a walk, in the Wollemi park,
In a canyon, he then found a fable,

The Ausie discovered a tree,
As strange a plant as can be,
The Wollemi Pine, from a land lost in time,
And his countrymen shouted ‘whoopee!’,

Now they started a botanic movement,
To protect the secret place that Dave went,
And to grow this big pine, From a land lost in time,
To the UK a sapling was then sent,

It turned up right here at Royal Kew
In a cage it was grown, that is true,
To protect it from thieves,
And it’s vast enemies,
The tree then just flourished and grew,

Nowadays they aren’t quite as rare,
And at Kew there are more than a pair,
In the gift shop you see, you can buy 2 or 3,
And it’s sentence no longer fair,

So let’s make a planty decree,
To release this Wollemi tree
Let’s scream and let’s shout, to let the tree out
Wollemia nobilis be free!

Wollemia nobilis - #FreeTheKew1

Wollemia nobilis – #FreeTheKew1