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Kew Gardens: A Year in Bloom season 2 — air date, what happens, episode guide, and all we know

Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom on Channel 5 celebrates all the famous botanical gardens has to offer including The Palm House (above), built in 1844
Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom on Channel 5 celebrates all the famous botanical gardens has to offer including The Palm House (above), built in 1844 (Image credit: Channel 5)

Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom on Channel 5 is back for 2022 and once again series 2 will give viewers behind-the-scenes access to the world-famous tourist attraction, home to one of the most amazing plant collections in the world. Cameras film at the 300 acre site in West London over a year to witness the changing seasons, uncover the gardens’ historic secrets of the gardens and reveal some seriously bizarre plants.

So here’s everything you need to know about Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom series 2 on Channel 5 this summer…

Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom release date

Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom is a seven-part series that starts on Channel 5 on Tuesday July 19 at 8pm. Episodes run weekly and also arrive on streaming service My5. We will update her with any international air dates.

What plants do we learn about in Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom?

At the Princess of Wales Conservatory there’s the strange-looking Emperor Alcantarea, which is about to flower for the first time since it was planted 20 years ago. However, when its blooms finally do appear it won’t be an entirely happy occasion. 

"They’re monocarpic, which means in they only flower once in their lifetime, because after flowering they usually die," says glass house supervisor Alberto. ‘It’s really the plant’s last big show."

Meanwhile, we also get a glimpse of the Titum Arum, from Indonesia, which grows a strange three-metre flower spike once every decade that smells of rotting flesh!

The greenhouses at Kew have a vast number of exotic plants that are well care for.

The greenhouses at Kew have a vast number of exotic plants including the Emperor Alcantarea that are very well cared for. (Image credit: Channel 5)

What else happens in Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom?

Over the seven-part series we get to explore Kew’s historic royal pagoda and find out how the tree guardians test for sickly specie in the arboretum.  We also meet some of Kew’s students dreaming of becoming the next Alan Titchmarsh, who started his career on the gardens’ prestigious diploma course.

Kew Gardens is also famous for its own police service, Kew Constabulary, which was founded in the 1840s. Although the exact number of officers is confidential, it’s thought to be one of the smallest police services in the world, with ‘crimes’ at Kew involving visitors taking cuttings or stealing seeds.

"We also get the members of the public who forget this is a garden and we’ve had the odd hammock set up in the trees over the years," says officer Tom. "Having a game of football could also potentially damage the plants so we have to keep an eye out!"

Lawn and order! Jenny and Fran of the Kew Constabulary.

Lawn and order! Jenny and Fran of the Kew Constabulary. (Image credit: Channel 5)

Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom series 2 episode guide

Here's our episode guide to Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom season 2, which we'll keep adding to as the series progresses so do check back for more...

Episode 1: Tuesday July 19, 8pm
There’s a buzz at Kew Gardens’ Princess of Wales Conservatory as a new series of A Year In Bloom begins. The glass house’s supervisor Alberto has been patiently watching over the strange-looking Emperor Alcantarea, which is about to flower for the first time since it was planted 20 years ago. "It’s native from eastern Brazil. It grows in the wild in very exposed habits at quite high altitude," explains Alberto. ‘"This plant showed signs of wanting to bloom earlier this year but now it’s really picking up fast with the warmer days."
However, when the Emperor Alcantarea’s blooms finally do appear it won’t be an entirely happy occasion because after flowering they usually die.
Meanwhile, in the tropical nursery, the Titum Arum, is undergoing a health check of its giant underground tuber. The plant is from Indonesia and grows a strange 3m flower spike once every decade, which smells of rotting flesh! "It’s notoriously difficult to grow. We have to be careful not to damage it," says expert Paul who looks after the plant. "But luckily it looks like quite healthy and it should flower again!"
The 10-storey royal pagoda reopens for the spring season, and we get a guided tour with Rachel from Historic Royal Palaces. She tells us all about its history, from being a playground for Princess Augusta in the 1700s, through being used for testing bombs in World War II, to the cutting-edge restoration that has returned dragons to its rooftop and the whole structure to its former glory. 

Episode 2: Tuesday July 26 8pm
Spring is in full flow in Kew Gardens, as a carpet of bluebells brings visitors into the woodland areas. But not all bluebells are equally welcome, and at Wakehurst, RBG Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, Iain is on a mission to hunt down the Spanish bluebell, which threatens our native species. It’s a time for new beginnings, particularly for the lucky few on the prestigious diploma course. Like previous alumnus Alan Titchmarsh, these students could become tomorrow’s horticultural megastars, such as Anna, who’s creating intricate plant supports in the Woodland Garden, or Rob, who’s working with endangered species in the Tropical Nursery. That’s if they survive the traditional student clog and apron race!
Out in the gardens, we see a pair of trees suffering from fatal storm damage and an aggressive fungus. Can Kevin find the perfect paired replacements for a vista that has UNESCO World Heritage status?
We then go behind the scenes to meet Fran and Jenny, who use old skills and new tech to ensure there’s a next generation of trees for Kevin to choose from. But the tree gang are foiled in their plans by a pair of ducks. It’s an exciting time for Carlos in the Temperate House, as he nurtures a rare amaryllis that looks like it’s going to flower for the first time after 10 years of care and attention. If it does, this will allow Carlos to pollinate it by hand, ensuring the survival of future generations.
We go on the beat with Kew’s very own constabulary, one of the smallest police services in the world, and reveal its 180-year history. We also dig into Kew’s compost, with the arrival of tonnes of manure with a royal connection. Then, back at Wakehurst, we meet the Kew scientists using the latest drones and 3D modelling technology to help the government combat climate change with the power of plants.

The 10-storey royal pagoda reopens for the spring.

The 10-storey royal pagoda reopens for the spring. (Image credit: Channel 5.)

Is there a trailer for Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom?

A trailer hasn't been released for series 2 of Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom, but we’re excited to see what other botanical delights are in store. We’ll update if Channel 5 offers up a trailer. 

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Nicholas Cannon
Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.

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