The recently renovated Garden Museum does just that. Opening its doors this spring following an 18-month refurbishment, the museum chronicles our age-old love affair with gardens and gardening.
Set in the beautifully restored ancient church of St Mary’s-at-Lambeth, the museum is one of London’s overlooked gems. Situated on the south bank, opposite Tate Britain, St Mary’s – with its medieval tower, ancient crypts and freshly re-imagined interiors – is a must-see gem.
The inside of the museum is impressive. The seven newly refurbished galleries, which house the museum’s extraordinary permanent collection of more than 1,000 objects – including Britain’s oldest watering cans (Tudor) and Harold Gilman’s Edwardian painting Portrait of a Black Gardener – also host the museum’s busy calendar of temporary exhibitions.
Britain's oldest watering cans at the Garden Museum
This spring will see the installation of six large paintings by contemporary artist Eileen Hogan and an exhibition of watercolours by more than 50 eminent botanical artists. The exhibition takes its inspiration from depictions of fruit trees in Tradescant's Orchard, a 17th-century volume of botanical watercolours compiled by James I’s celebrated gardeners John Tradescant and his son, also John.
The museum’s central courtyard garden also reflects the Tradescants’ love of plants. Designed by award-winning Chelsea Flower Show exhibitor Dan Pearson as an ‘Eden’ of rare tropical plants, this secret garden is a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Why not grab a coffee from the recently renovated courtyard café next to the garden and sit back and relax.
With its extensive range of exhibitions and educational activities for professionals, amateurs and kids, the Garden Museum really does offer something for everyone – green-fingered or not.
|What||London's Garden Museum throws open its doors this spring|
|Where||Garden Museum, London , SE1 7LB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Lambeth North (underground)|
22 May 17 – 22 May 19, Open: Daily 10.30-5pm (Saturday 10.30-4pm)
|Website||Click here for more details|