Elisa Biondi, horticulturist in Kew Gardens’ Princess of Wales Conservatory, Londoner #82


I come from the North- East of Italy, where
there aren’t many big cities around. My dad used to take me to the woods in the mountain
quite often. So I’ve always seen trees and nature and I’ve always thought that was normality. And then obviously I came to London, and it’s an extremely green city, it’s just so different. When you choose to get a career in horticulture,
You do know that you won’t earn a lot of money but you do know that you will do what you
do because you love it. My connection with cacti is quite strange
because where I come from there are obviously not cacti. I’m not sure exactly what it is,
the first time I saw them, I started to really like them, I guess because they are somehow
quite human, I don’t know. And also the fact they’re usually kind of green and maybe not necessarily beautiful. When they flower they’re just completely different and it’s a bit like some people. You don’t get to really like them until you properly meet them. This one has got hair as well. They look like
grandpas. So that little water lily there is a Nymphaea
thermarum. It comes from Rwanda but unfortunately it’s extinct in the wild. Having a good relationship with nature is
important because everything starts from nature, everything we’ve got thanks to nature. And
making sure that you understand that and you are kind of thankful to nature for what you’ve
got. I think it’s really important and everybody in my opinion should worship nature and be proud to live in this world and respect nature mainly.

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