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Strawberries in the Garden Museum’s Collection and Archive

Collection

We had a look through our Collection for some strawberry themed content to share, and found these two very contrasting images - a cartoon and a piece of botanical art.

A cartoon of a man weeding a strawberry bed from ‘Garden Work for Amateurs’, dated Saturday November 2nd 1946 and printed by Cable Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd, 62 Doughty St., London. This weekly, post-war booklet contained advice for amateur gardeners and was priced at 3d,

Gift of the Goodfellow family of Woodford Green, who collected and read them.

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The Tradescants were 17th century gardeners who introduced many new plants to England.  More than 160 varieties of fruit were listed amongst the inventory of plants grown at the Tradescants nursery in Lambeth, many of which are illustrated in the Orchard. The Garden Museum invited 40 of the worlds leading botanical artists to paint watercolours of fruit in response to the Orchard.

Fragaria virginiana – Virginia Strawberry, 2016

Images Curated by Janine Nelson, Head of Learning

Archive

In the Archive, we found some photographs of strawberries growing on Dr Silvia’s Fruit Farm in Portugal that vegetable growing expert Joy Larkcom took during her year-long trip around Europe from 1975-1976. During this trip she was researching vegetable growing techniques and collecting seed of old and local varieties that were at risk of going extinct.

LAR/2/6/5/38 Strawberries being grown in wooden troughs at Dr Silvia’s Fruit Farm in Vila Fria, Portugal (8 December 1976)

LAR/2/6/5/39 Strawberries being grown on a platform in pots, with five holes for plants in each pot, at Dr Silvia’s Fruit Farm in Vila Fria, Portugal (8 December 1976)

We also found some material relating to strawberries in the Waterperry Horticultural School Collection. Waterperry Horticultural School was a horticultural school for women in Waterperry, Oxfordshire. It was set up in 1932 by Beatrix Havergal and her partner Avice Sanders. For many years, the school entered an exhibit of ‘Royal Sovereign’ strawberries at Chelsea Flower Show. Miss Havergal was known as the ‘Strawberry Queen’ because for many years the strawberries won the gold medal prize. A new display was set up each day and usually sent to Buckingham Palace at the end of the day. Below are photographs of the strawberries at Chelsea, and of the price list which contains information about how they were grown.

WAT/3/6 ‘Royal Sovereign’ strawberries at Chelsea Flower Show (c. 1963-1968)

WAT/3/7 Beatrix Havergal and Head Gardener Joan Stokes in front of the Waterperrry Horticultural School strawberry display at Chelsea Flower Show (c. 1963-1968)

WAT/1/5 Price list for Strawberry ‘Royal Sovereign’ (c. 1963-1968)

WAT/1/6 Price list for Soft Fruit (Autumn 1968)

These items are from the Joy Larkcom Archive and Waterperry Horticultural School Collection at the Archive of Garden Design.

Images curated by Rosie Vizor, Archivist