Address: Lambeth Palace Rd, London.
Opening hours: The museum is open from Sundays to Fridays from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. On Saturdays, it closes an hour earlier. The Garden Museum is also closed every first Monday of the month.
Contact: Telephone 020 7401 8865
You don’t need a green thumb to enjoy being at the Garden Museum. The very name of the museum itself suggests a refreshing afternoon. Many of the museums, palaces and other historic places across Britain that have been deemed to be worthy of preservation had gardens in their environs. They have their gardeners to be thankful to. It is a good thing that a museum that celebrates the hard work of these gardeners has been established.
In 1977, the Garden Museum was founded as a response to the planned demolition of St. Mary’s church, which was an ancient abandoned monastic building. This site was where John Tradescant was buried. Tradescant was Britain’s first ever gardener and plant hunter who could be truly considered talented and deserving of recognition. It was just appropriate that his tomb was made up to be the focus of a knot garden, which in turn showcases flowers that he used to grow in his London garden when he was still alive circa 1570 to 1638.
The garden was created three years after the museum was founded. At the midst is a knot garden that was designed by the Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury, the Museum’s President. Despite the fact that the garden was created not so long ago, the vibe was still very 17th century because Tradescant’s tomb is still its centrepiece.
In 2008, the museum’s interior was renovated to make way for more types of exhibits and events. More contemporary galleries were constructed. Not only had the physical spaces gone through transformations but there are also new exhibits featured every year. There are three exhibitions every year. They are all about British gardens, their making and the gardeners and plant hunters that should be considered heroes in the world of gardens. By participating in these exhibits, you get to be more familiar with just how the British are in love with gardens and everything else that makes them possible.
There are also permanent gardening-related galleries, which feature tools, ephemera, paintings and historic artefacts.
You don’t have to know Tradescant’s history to appreciate what the Garden Museum has to offer. The museum has plenty of charms that could pull you in. The museum is open from Sundays to Fridays from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. On Saturdays, it closes an hour earlier. The Garden Museum is also closed every first Monday of the month. Adults have to pay £7.50 to get in. Seniors pay 6.50 and students pay only £3. Those below 16 years old have free admission.