London - "It's a weird pong, like," head groundsman Alfie Gribbles said today describing Kew's pungent whiff, "a bit like sunshine on freshly deposited horse manure.
"Never realised it's worth squillions if only we could get the fracking licence."
His comments come as a report compares the West London botanic marvel to Florida's Everglades national park where vast deposits of natural gas lurk untapped by man.
The published findings lay bare decades of UK government whitewash that's concealed what locals have always suspected: that weird pong near Kew's Long Ericaceous Border is the sweet fragrance of billions of cubic therms of natural gas.
"Of course it would mean the destruction of all the dwarf azaleas plus my pride and joy rhododendron groenlandicum - the Bog Labrador Tea rhodo - and rhododendron hirsutum - the Hairy Alpenrose.
"Their exotic flame colored flowers only thrive in this part of the world because the wafting subterranean fumes turn the petals scarlet when exposed to additional CO2 emissions from nearby passing traffic."
A ruthless campaign by conservationists and assorted eco-nutz has stymied exploratory drilling despite the overwhelming need for extraction, Gribble reckons.
"Blooming scandal, that, there's more natural gas down here than in all of the North Sea.
"Wanna see pix of how we fixed last year's rain-soaked Bonfire Night stack with a judicious move to the camellia nursery beds?"