Garden Museum

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Bank holiday weekend is afoot: time to pick your lawn-mowing outfit. What’s your look of choice?Bonus ballbarrowing pict...
22/05/2020

Bank holiday weekend is afoot: time to pick your lawn-mowing outfit. What’s your look of choice?

Bonus ballbarrowing picture because we just couldn't resist.

1. Ransomes advert c.1955
2. Man with mower c.1920
3. Qualcast leaflet c.1969
4. Lawnmower brochure c.1978
5. Woman with mower c.1940
6. Atco brochure c.1977
7. Woman with mower, date unknown
8. Ballbarrow advert c.1988

21/05/2020
Beth Chatto

A short film to enjoy from our archives this afternoon: in 2015, the Garden Museum commissioned this portrait of Beth Chatto, a record of the fascinating life of Britain's most influential plantswomen.

The late Chatto's dedication, knowledge and achievements are nothing short of inspiring, and a reminder of the power of plants and gardening.

This is "Beth Chatto" by Garden Museum on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

We have good news, Jarman fans! Our exhibition ‘Derek Jarman: My garden’s boundaries are the horizon’ may have been post...
20/05/2020

We have good news, Jarman fans! Our exhibition ‘Derek Jarman: My garden’s boundaries are the horizon’ may have been postponed, but you can now preview it and support the Museum in our just-released exhibition catalogue.

This beautifully cloth-bound book is illustrated with photos of the garden at Prospect Cottage, Jarman’s childhood, film stills, artworks and garden journals, and includes reminiscences and essays by Howard Sooley, Anna Pavord, and Christopher Lloyd.

Have a look and order a copy here: https://bit.ly/3e46ubK

And don’t worry – we’re working hard to get #JarmansGarden ready to open at the Museum as soon as it’s safe to, and government guidance allows. Prospect Cottage (recently rescued for the nation by the Art Fund campaign) was a garden made in defiance of pessimism, and we hope to be in that spirit when we are able to welcome you all to the Museum once again, to celebrate Jarman’s garden story.

Cover image by Howard Sooley.

In need of a mid-morning pick-me-up? Here's our weekly garden stroll with Head Gardener Matt Collins. And breathe... "Fo...
19/05/2020

In need of a mid-morning pick-me-up? Here's our weekly garden stroll with Head Gardener Matt Collins. And breathe...

"Following last week’s post I thought I’d focus on a handful of plants from the Museum courtyard today — those coming into their stride as we head into summer. The courtyard scheme was designed by Dan Pearson Studio and implemented back in spring 2017; a play on a theme of historical and contemporary plant collecting, the Wardian case effect of a large glass box, and returning a ‘green eden’ to the resting place of the John Tradescants, entombed within.

Over the last three years I’ve enjoyed maintaining this space and getting to know the planting — which plants run riot and which need particular attention — and see it settle into place. This spring was the first that our molopospermums have flowered through, for example, thrusting large yellow umbels above vigorous feathered foliage, after careful feeding. The Austrian violets are bulking up and coming into flower now too, underplanting the rusty orange of unfurling Dryopteris erythrosora ferns.

I added clumps of Tinantia pringlei into the temporary pots this year, kindly gifted to us by Garden Museum Friend, David Foreman. Now in lavender-purple flower and with interesting spotted foliage, they’re great for a shade-positioned pot. T. pringlei was discovered as recently as 1994, high up in the Sierra Chiquita Mountains of Mexico by American nurseryman Tony Avent. So it feels like an appropriate addition."

Before the Chelsea Flower Show found its home at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in 1913, RHS - Royal Horticultural Society h...
18/05/2020

Before the Chelsea Flower Show found its home at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in 1913, RHS - Royal Horticultural Society held their spring show at the Temple Gardens. This lithograph from 1897 depicts a royal visit to the Temple Show, with T.R.H. the Princess of Wales, the Duke of York, Princess Charles of Denmark and Princess Victoria inspecting an impressive display of Sutton's gloxinias.

In different times many of us would have been joyfully heading down to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week! Will you be following along with the virtual show?

It’s not too late to enter our garden memoir competition, the Mollie Salisbury Cup – we’ve extended the deadline to 25 M...
14/05/2020

It’s not too late to enter our garden memoir competition, the Mollie Salisbury Cup – we’ve extended the deadline to 25 May!

This annual writing competition celebrates our personal experiences of gardens – big or small, real or imaginary. This year’s theme is ‘Sanctuary’, inspired by our Sanctuary exhibition. Entrants are invited to write 1500 words on what this theme means to you, and you could win up to £750.

How to enter: https://bit.ly/3byN3WC

Image: Evelyn Dunbar (1906-1960), Study of a figure gardening (possibly for Gardener’s Diary). Image courtesy of Liss Llewellyn.

The lost genius of Edwardian plant photography? Born in Wolverhampton in 1866, Charles Jones was a gardener for several ...
12/05/2020

The lost genius of Edwardian plant photography? Born in Wolverhampton in 1866, Charles Jones was a gardener for several private estates. His hobby on the side was experimenting with photography, producing a remarkable series of gelatin silver prints of vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

His photos feature a delicate play on light and arrangement, showing an unprecedented level of skill for the time, and foreshadowing the work of later photographers.

Here's the full Charles Jones story, and how these photos forgotten by time came to be in the Garden Museum collection: https://gardenmuseum.org.uk/charles-jones-gardener-and-photographer/

Monday morning = time for our weekly meditative garden stroll. Here’s the latest from our Head Gardener Matt Collins:"La...
11/05/2020

Monday morning = time for our weekly meditative garden stroll. Here’s the latest from our Head Gardener Matt Collins:

"Last week I came in to the Museum for an additional day to finish writing an article in the quiet of the sun-baked courtyard. On gardening days I rarely stop for long enough in there, so this was an indulgence; quieter than life at home, though, as it turned out, no less distracting. I couldn’t resist getting up to rearrange pots, snip spent leaves or fill a watering can with fertiliser for one plant or another. Also a glorious smell of jasmine — J. polyanthum, climbing the walkway uprights — followed me about as I pottered: the plant collector’s courtyard performing just as intended. Disporum, molopospermum and our Australian ground-cover violets are now in flower too, and the perennial clumps of persicaria, actaea, geranium and gillenia are bulking up throughout, closing up ground and tying the space together.

Indoors, the houseplant collection continues to expand piece by piece, the newest arrival an orchid cactus beginning to bloom. Geranium palmatum is out in the dry beds — another flower I’ve been looking forward to — but, as ever, it’s the Museum’s staple summer rogues I love the most: sisyrinchium in the paving, campanula poscharskyana competing with daisies over gravestones, and the sudden pink eruptions of South American wood-sorrel (Oxalis articulata) lighting up deep shade."

08/05/2020

This morning, Vanessa from London Dreamtime is here to tell children a story all about the magic of growing seeds 🌱🌱🌱

So get comfy, let your imaginations run wild, and enjoy the story. We hope it inspires you and your kids to try sowing some seeds together! If you do, make sure to share and tag us in any pictures of your little seedlings. Enjoy!

Every week for The Great Garden Hunt, we invite the eagle-eyed among you to help us date some unidentified images from t...
05/05/2020

Every week for The Great Garden Hunt, we invite the eagle-eyed among you to help us date some unidentified images from the Museum’s photographic collection.

Last week’s garden fashion detectives were so knowledgeable that we’ve rustled up some more modish mysteries for you! What can you tell us about the dates of this week’s photos based on the gardening outfits shown?

Once again, delve into the full selection on our website: https://gardenmuseum.org.uk/the-great-garden-hunt-part-four-gardening-in-style/

Here’s your Monday morning stroll through our gardens, lead by our Head Gardener Matt Collins:"A small consolation durin...
04/05/2020

Here’s your Monday morning stroll through our gardens, lead by our Head Gardener Matt Collins:

"A small consolation during these weeks of lockdown and my fewer visits to the gardens has been returning to find plants newly sprouted, unfurled or bloomed in my absence.

Without doubt the plant I’ve most eagerly anticipated this year has been Echium wildpretii, with its hundreds of spiralling red flowers (images 1-3). I became mildly obsessed with echiums in 2018 via the combination of a punishingly hot, dry spring and a visit to the Canary Islands. Seeing these plants thrive in conditions our perennials were struggling with back home sparked an appreciation for plants that require minimal watering, light soil and a touch of neglect — Climate Change contenders, essentially. E. wildpretii is the ‘tower of Jewels’ from Tenerife’s Mount Teide, where its strange blooms rise above barren rock like the saguaro cacti of desert Arizona. It has taken two years to flower, but is worth the wait. Especially as the silvery foliage (image 3) is so striking in the meantime.

Other flowers long awaited and now opened are ‘Camelot Cream’ foxgloves in the cutting garden (those pictured have cunningly self-seeded themselves among Euphorbia oblongata — a fantastic vase flower) along with purple alliums; Cistus ‘Silver Pink’, a gift from Kiftsgate Gardens; Tradescantia virginiana (named after our esteemed plant collectors) and Akebia longeracemosa (chocolate vine) hanging elegantly from wire in the courtyard.

Rainfall last week drew my attention to interesting foliage too: new palmate leaves of the needle-less bramble Rubus lineatus, and the finely-cut, glaucous Thalictrum ‘Elin’; plants bridging the gap between spring and summer."

1. Echium wildpretii
2. Wildpretii flowers
3. Wildpretii foliage
4. Foxgloves & euphorbia
5. Allium 'Purple Sensation'
6. Cistus 'Silver Pink'
7. Tradescantia virginiana
8. Akebia longeracemosa
9. Rubus lineatus
10. Thalictrum 'Elin'

Time for The Great Garden Hunt Part 3! 🧐🌿Any budding fashion historians in our midst? This week, we need your keen trend...
29/04/2020

Time for The Great Garden Hunt Part 3! 🧐🌿

Any budding fashion historians in our midst? This week, we need your keen trend-spotting eyes to help date some images in our photographic collection...

Can you glean any identifying information by analysing the fetching fashions or professional workwear on display in this week's photos? Can you predict the period from a lady’s bonnet or the position of her hemline, neckline and waistline?

Perhaps the hairstyles will provide a clue... see all the photos and take part here:https://gardenmuseum.org.uk/the-great-garden-hunt-part-three-fashion-in-gardens/

“In addition to our natural pleasure in beautiful plants and our experience in raising and cultivating them, we have gai...
28/04/2020

“In addition to our natural pleasure in beautiful plants and our experience in raising and cultivating them, we have gained a close intimacy through drawing and painting them. We have observed them as artists as well as gardeners, and have necessarily been made aware not only of the garden value of a plant and the intrinsic beauty of its flower, but of proportions, forms and contrasts, of the subtle relations of the leaf to the bloom, or the plant to its neighbour.” - Charles Mahoney/Evelyn Dunbar, introduction to Gardeners’ Choice, 1936.

🌸 Flower studies from our selling exhibition Sanctuary: Artist-Gardeners 1919-1939. Purchasing an artwork is a fantastic way to support the Garden Museum while we are closed. If you would like to know more please contact [email protected].

Take a look at the catalogue free on our website while the Museum is closed: http://bit.ly/38UG3mR

What better way to kick off #NationalGardeningWeek than with our Monday morning visit to the Museum gardens with our Hea...
27/04/2020

What better way to kick off #NationalGardeningWeek than with our Monday morning visit to the Museum gardens with our Head Gardener Matt Collins?

"Maybe I’m more attuned to it this year, given the circumstances, but spring 2020 has to be the most magnificent spring I can remember. Prolonged yet comparatively cool sunshine has produced immaculate flowers, bold colours and gorgeous late afternoon light. Swifts are arriving back into London now — the equivalent of May blossom for the urban almanac — so summer is on its way. Old favourites like Gladiolus byzantinus, Allium nigrum and Euphorbia oblongata are colouring the Museum’s cut flower beds, as are our final tulips: ‘Cairo’, ‘Snowstar’ and lemony ‘City of Vancouver’ — a new one on me that I’ll definitely grow again (though not pictured!). Also bearing the name ‘Vancouver’, again new to me, is the dainty-leaved ground-cover perennial, Vancouveria hexandra. As with a handful of the other understory plants I’ve been trialing in pots this year (to get to know them), Vancouveria was first discovered in the misty Douglas-fir forests of the Pacific Northwest. It was named after George Vancouver, who captained Britain’s late eighteenth century exploration of that region — his name also given to Vancouver Island and neighbouring Vancouver city.

The foliage of V. hexandra (image 7) is pretty and robust, and I can see myself using it in future schemes. I remember stumbling upon George Vancouver’s headstone in a churchyard beside Petersham Meadows, close to a garden I used to run: so much history for such an unassuming grave! Someone ought to plant vancouveria beside him, it would do well in the dim there.

Meanwhile, polystichum ferns and purple campanulas are brightening tombs in the Garden Museum’s own churchyard, and the medlar tree is again covered in blossom, so soon there will be fruit."

In the last of our series on our favourite artists in our Sanctuary exhibition, Liss Llewellyn Gallery Manager George Ri...
25/04/2020
Sanctuary Spotlight: Douglas Percy Bliss - Garden Museum

In the last of our series on our favourite artists in our Sanctuary exhibition, Liss Llewellyn Gallery Manager George Richards writes about Douglas Percy Bliss, a lesser-known but no less intriguing contemporary and friend of Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden...

In the last of our series on favourite artists in our Sanctuary exhibition, Liss Llewellyn Gallery Manager George Richards writes about Douglas Percy Bliss, a lesser-known but no less intriguing contemporary and friend of Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden.

Slow art is the practice of taking your time to really look at a work of art, soaking up every little detail, almost med...
22/04/2020

Slow art is the practice of taking your time to really look at a work of art, soaking up every little detail, almost meditating with it. And we say, if you don’t have any art to hand, try it with a plant! 🌿 Take five minutes today to notice every furling petal, leaf and vein. You might even be inspired to paint or draw it, like Marjorie Hayes’ gloriously detailed ‘Gloxinias in the greenhouse’, 1961.

If you need some tips to get started, check out our flower drawing class with Wild Life Drawing from last week: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/18045798670244938/

The Great Garden Hunt is back! 🧐🌿Last week we asked for your help identifying mystery parks from our photo collection.Th...
22/04/2020

The Great Garden Hunt is back! 🧐🌿

Last week we asked for your help identifying mystery parks from our photo collection.This week we're delving into country houses!

Do you know your country piles? Think you can identify any of these houses?

Take part (and see last week's discoveries!) here: https://gardenmuseum.org.uk/the-great-garden-hunt-country-houses/

Annie ‘Nancy’ Mary Pryde Nicholson was a painter and fabric designer, and daughter of artists William Nicholson and Mabe...
21/04/2020

Annie ‘Nancy’ Mary Pryde Nicholson was a painter and fabric designer, and daughter of artists William Nicholson and Mabel Pryde. In this painting, ‘William Nicholson at Work’ she plays with scale, the closely-observed giant bunch of flowers worked upon by her tiny father and approached by her similarly small but daring husband, the writer Robert Graves, depicted in his corner.

This painting is from our selling exhibition Sanctuary: Artist-Gardeners 1919-1939. Purchasing an artwork is a fantastic and valuable way to support the Garden Museum while we are closed. If you would like to know more about this piece or others please contact [email protected].

Take a look at the catalogue free on our website while the Museum is closed: http://bit.ly/38UG3mR

🌼🌼🌼

Nancy Nicholson (1899–1977), William Nicholson at Work, 1918. Image courtesy of Liss Llewellyn.

"Gardens offer respite from the pressures of modern life" says our Director Christopher Woodward in this piece on The Ne...
20/04/2020
Planted in Sickness, Derek Jarman’s Garden Still Gives Joy

"Gardens offer respite from the pressures of modern life" says our Director Christopher Woodward in this piece on The New York Times, on the joy that can still be found in Derek Jarman's garden.

The British filmmaker, who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1994, found solace in gardening during a public health crisis.

Let’s start the week off right, with a calming virtual stroll through our gardens, courtesy of Head Gardener Matt Collin...
20/04/2020

Let’s start the week off right, with a calming virtual stroll through our gardens, courtesy of Head Gardener Matt Collins:

"All this bright light and dry weather has sped us into mid-spring, when lilacs, laburnums and wisterias clash irrepressibly in front gardens all over London. This profusion of pastels can be a little much sometimes, though each plant is of course wonderful in isolation. At the Museum we have only the former (Syringa x persica: image 6), now full of fragrance in the cutting garden. But the beautiful light is compensation for the lack of rain: recent arid springs have taught me to try and enjoy it rather than fret. Sunlight through the Akebia longeracemosa (1), for example, with its developing pendulous flowers, is gorgeous in the mornings. Indoors, our collection of tradescantia have been sending up vigorous new shoots so I’ve been taking soft-tip cuttings (2) and rooting them in water. It will soon be time to thin out the courtyard’s Schefflera (3) and Nandina, which together become congested, making way for new shoots already waiting in the wings.

Over the wall in the cutting garden the last of the tulips are opening alongside the first alliums. Calla lilies are flowering (9), as are euphorbias, honesty and self-sown aquilegias (8). All are moving so quickly. Last week I couldn’t resist the heady scent of our lily-of-the-valley, and took some home to gaze at in confinement …kind of like that guy in the Shawshank Redemption with his pet crow — at the moment, any piece of Nature brought inside is a window to the wider world, but there’s definitely a silver lining in knowing that so much wildlife out there is getting to enjoy the greenery, unflustered in our absence."

Address

5 Lambeth Palace Rd
London
SE1 7LB

Buses: To Lambeth Road 3 & 344 To Lambeth Palace Road C10, 77, 507 (Mon to Fri only) Underground: Vauxhall, Lambeth North, Westminster or Waterloo Trains: Vaxhall, Waterloo or Victoria

Opening Hours

Monday 10:30 - 17:00
Tuesday 10:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 10:30 - 17:00
Thursday 10:30 - 17:00
Friday 10:30 - 17:00
Saturday 10:30 - 16:00
Sunday 10:30 - 17:00

Telephone

020 7401 8865

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About the Garden Museum

The Garden Museum explores and celebrates British gardens and gardening through its collection, temporary exhibitions, events and garden.

Visitors will also see a permanent display of paintings, tools, ephemera and historic artefacts: a glimpse into the uniquely British love affair with gardens.

Whether you are an enthusiastic amateur gardener, more of a specialist or someone with a passion for museums, history or architecture, the Museum has something for you.

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Comments

Con la declaración del Estado de Alarma por crisis sanitaria COVID-19 y el consecuente confinamiento en nuestros hogares, hemos vuelto a utilizar ese espacio olvidado de los balcones, tribunas a la calle desde donde gritamos y aplaudimos una respuesta social en común, sea de denuncia o de agradecimiento. ¡LLENA DE FLORES TUS BALCONES! Aprovechemos estos espacios como elementos vivos de la ciudad y gocemos de sus beneficios ambientales, estéticos, espirituales y sociales. Los balcones son piezas representativas de nuestras proclamas y de nuestro paisaje urbano. Implantemos un buen ambiente en nuestro balcón, pongámolos a florecer¡ Llenemos de flores y encanto nuestros balcones¡
Is the Constance Spry exhibition at the Garden Museum still scheduled to happen and what date please?
Love visiting The Garden Museum when in London.
Lovely visit to this unique & charming museum today. I loved it. The climb up the old church tower well worth it too. However the cafe, despite good web reviews, fails in a most basic way in that it is really poor for anyone with a food allergy Although it apparently serves wonderful food, no attempt made to cater for those 3% or so of us who can’t eat wheat (& our families) I was told, “yes we do cater for gluten free” then offered the opportunity to eat scrambled eggs without toast yum 🤮
What is the nearest Tube/Train station?
Re The upcoming #ladybird books exhibition, ppl might also like a current show in #NewWalkMuseum #leicester
BBC R4 Kitchen Cabinet!
I enjoyed my visit to the museum. I was expecting more from the Exhibition, it was nice but fell a little flat considering how lovely Cecily Barkers paintings are. However, I’m glad I visited, Lambeth Palace is next on my list, a Magnificent Building!!!
Lovely quirky place. Visited in 2005 and whilst sitting outside reviewing our plans saw our first live squirrel. Discovering it is burial site of William Bligh who has significance for Aussies was a bonus. Recommended for history & garden lovers.
2 gentlemen were at a window-side table in the café this afternoon. Can. 1530h, I handed in unique papers that may have been theirs - seen on floor. Whoever is the owner WILL want them back. Hope they find their rightful owner. Enquire at the café, shop or admissions desk: all are aware. :-)