Eleven years after Burton completed The Palm House, he began work on a new building at Kew Gardens that would dwarf it. The Temperate House was twice the size, and so flamboyant that one politican complained to parliament that Kew risked becoming a “gaudy flower garden.” The Palm House at London’s Kew Gardens, completed in 1848, looks like a steamship plowing through a sea of green. The metaphor is apt because the explorers of that era would compete by sailing home from foreign travels with the most bizarre species they could find and bringing them to Kew. One highlight, for example, is the Madagascan suicide palm, which flowers once in 50 years then promptly expires. The Palm House’s oldest plant, an Encephalartos altensteinii palm, was picked This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Nine Buy Now Related Stories Design Issue 50 Frama The creative company where community is more than just a mood board. Design Issue 49 At Work With: Muller Van Severen How a home renovation birthed one of Europe’s most distinguished design duos. Design Fashion Issue 49 Reid Bartelme & Harriet Jung An inquiry into costume design. Design Issue 49 Marcio Kogan On the pursuit of perfection. Design Interiors Issue 49 Mimi Shodeinde An audience with the architect. Design Interiors Issue 48 At Work With: Studio Utte A visit to the small, sophisticated Milanese studio of Patrizio Gola & Guglielmo Giagnotti.