Gardens in Lockdown: A Tree Grows in E3

Last spring Alice Sielle, an artist in East London and a Friend of the Museum, read our Appeal to Save The Garden Museum and wanted to help. The answer was in a plane tree seedling.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Alice began drawing a London plane tree which she had grown from seed in her East London garden. She drew the tree every day as it changed with the seasons, for 236 days from the 3rd April to the 24th November . To raise urgently needed funds for our emergency Appeal, Alice has donated all of the drawings to the Garden Museum. Thanks to her generosity, 100% of the purchase price will go directly towards helping us to re-open the Museum.

Drawings begin at just £25. Choose from 236 drawings created by Alice throughout the past year: why not pick a date special to you? You can preview a selection of drawings at the bottom of this page.


Alice says:

“As a Londoner, born and bred I’ve always been both surrounded and entranced by the London plane tree. With their dramatic camouflage trunks allowing them to survive the London grime, their majestic canopies in summer, and their beautiful delicately balanced seed display in winter which outstrip any over-dressed Christmas tree, they steal any show. But I’ve always wondered why there are never any baby plane trees to be seen.”

After years of experimenting, in December 2019 Alice grew her first successful plane tree seedlings. Then on 3rd April 2020, as the country found itself in lockdown for the first time, Alice began drawing one of them.

“A few days after the first leaf appeared this spring, I started to draw the finest of the four remaining survivors everyday. Had I given it any thought, I’d never have started the project. What took 10 minutes a day ended up taking one and a half hours. It grew from 15cm to 46cm and I kept having to buy bigger and bigger and more and more pads of paper. I set myself the task of drawing the tree every day until its last leaf dropped, which happened on 24th November.”

Every penny raised supports the Garden Museum’s survival following the pandemic.

Each drawing is an original work, signed and dated by the artist. They are not photocopies or giclée prints. Drawings are sold unframed: A4 drawings will be posted in hardback envelopes, A3 and A2 drawings will be sent in cardboard postal tubes.

See more of Alice’s work: