Figs and Apricots by Emma Tennant
Home » Exhibitions » Emma Tennant: A Botanical Tour of Great Britain from the Scillies to Sutherland

Emma Tennant: A Botanical Tour of Great Britain from the Scillies to Sutherland

Emma Tennant’s botanical watercolours will be shown in a selling exhibition at the Garden Museum from 6 March – 28 April 2019.

Tennant says, “I cannot remember a time when I was not interested in both gardening and painting.  I must have been born with a trowel in one hand and a paintbrush in the other”.

Emma began her career as an artist by recording the plants that she grew in her garden in southern Scotland and now travels widely to find her subjects. She is a keen amateur botanist.  Her paintings are accompanied by notes that delve into the history of her subjects, paying tribute to the plant hunters and explorers of the past, and to the skilled gardeners who grow these plants in cultivation.

This exhibition includes, among much else, narcissus and Clianthus punicea from the Scillies, mimosa from the Isle of Wight, sea kale from Norfolk, quinces from Suffolk, Magnolia campbellii from Lismore in Ireland, artichokes from North Wales, a wild white waterlily from Sutherland and grapes from the famous vinery at Chatsworth, as well as plants both rare and familiar from Tennant’s own garden.

The artist John Nash said that he travelled furthest when he stayed at home.  This collection shows that it is possible to grown plants from many parts of the world in our benign climate.  All works are watercolour and ink on either an off-white Nepalese paper, or a Japanese kind made from the bark of a tree called Broussonetia papyrifera.  Both absorb pigment, which makes it possible to achieve great depth of colour.

All pictures are for sale, framed either in antique frames or frames gilded by Isabel Tennant, Emma’s daughter.

Associated Events

Emma Tennant in Conversation with Alan Titchmarsh
Tues 12 March 2019, 7pm

Film Screenings: Emma Tennant, Artist and Gardener
Mon 11 March 2019, 7pm
Thurs 25 April 2019, 1.30pm


Image: Emma Tennant, photo © Ben Wood