In spring 2020 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 donated all of the drawings to the Garden Museum. Thanks to her generosity, 100% of the purchase price went towards helping us to re-open the Museum.
And now we have an update to the story of London’s little plane tree, for everyone who bought an illustration or simply enjoyed the story: the tree has reached its final home and been planted in Thomas Tuohy’s Biographical Arboretum, Little Mesopotamia, at Beckermet in Cumberland. Conceived in 2001 as an experimental botanical collection within a landscape setting, Little Mesopotamia amounts to 12 ½ acres of land intended for environmental and ecological benefit, enclosed by two becks (streams). The name chosen for the site, Little Mesopotamia, derives from the Greek Μεσοποταμία, ‘land between rivers’, first applied to the land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates.
Alice says: “I’m hugely relieved the tree has been given a permanent home now, and I’m delighted it was able to help the Garden Museum in a small way. I will visit it in the spring.”
Here are some photos of the plane tree’s journey from London to the land between rivers:
Find out more about Alice’s plane tree and her lockdown project of drawing it every day in this film: