Diary of a Closed Year

Garden Museum Director Christopher Woodward is writing a diary during the Museum's closure period for its redevelopment...

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Florist

14th April 2017 We have begun to think about parties. How do you make a party at a Museum more than speeches, polite introductions and a warm,...


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Benchmarks

2nd February 2017 Time to talk benches with Dan Pearson, the designer of our new garden. Certain things seem easy, but are not. A gin and tonic, for...


Image of Label Babel

Label Babel

  5th January 2017 We have 1,000 labels and two dozen text panels to write by the end of January, and I am stuck on the very first. As visitors climb...


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Trick or Treat

  My son is at an age (13) when ‘Let’s go trick or treating?’ is met with a roll of eyes. ‘That’s for kids’. As if he has no connection...


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Why are so many new buildings ugly?

  Stephen Bayley, writer, curator – and Vauxhall resident – has given me a copy of his book ‘Ugly’. Line for line, it is the most...


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Equilateral Greenhouses

The Museum owns a large coloured print of a market gardener’s greenhouses, and fruit and vegetables being packed for market: artichokes and apples...


Image of In Pursuit of Tradescantia

In Pursuit of Tradescantia

I’m Elena and I’ve been working in the Museum’s Development team – oh, and making some films about sheds  – since June. The Director has...


Image of 101 poses with a spade

101 poses with a spade

Can you name the Patron saint of gardening? Count to ten. The answer: St Fiacre. If you’ve ever heard the name it’s likely to have been in a...


Image of Moving Mr Lett

Moving Mr Lett

In death, Mr Lett weighs half a ton. What he weighed in life, we’ll never know, but he was rich enough to be plump. Lett, a timber merchant of...


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Oval Time

John Brooke’s lifetime of drawings has recently been deposited in the Museum’s archive – or, to be exact, in the temporary storage during...


Image of Monet Monet Monet: Painting the Modern Garden

Monet Monet Monet: Painting the Modern Garden

At the opening of ‘Painting the Modern Garden’ Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary of the Royal Academy, winked. ‘People are being kind’. Why...


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Invisible Green

March 7 2016 Green is the true colour of winter. The green of plane tree bark, of lichens, and of the grass which has survived in the slogged-out,...


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Project Manager at the gates of dawn

January 20 2016 It is too cold to swim in the Lido so I’m early for the 9.30 meeting at our Project Managers’ office on Tottenham Court Road. For...


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The best thing since sliced bread?

January 11 2016 ‘Bugger!’ said a man in the Museum garden. The window of my office – in fact, the old vestry – used to open on to the tomb of...


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Advent calendar

December 23 2015 Two days to go, and I discovered a new scene in my private Advent Calendar of London: it’s the window at which the artist Patrick...


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In a while, crocodile

December 11 2015 John Tradescant is being packed up for Christmas: the builders have constructed a protective wooden box around the family’s chest...


Image of Plane sailing

Plane sailing

November 30 2015 Gardening at the Museum is dominated by the hundred-year old plane trees which line the south and west of the site. The churchyard...


Image of All Souls

All Souls

November 15 2015 There’s a moment when a building becomes its architectural self again. It is happening to the church now: the Museum has closed for...



 
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