The Garden Museum, situated on the South bank of the Thames by Lambeth Palace, has a unique collection of over 10,000 garden-related objects spanning 400 years of changing ideas, technologies and passions in British gardening.
The Museum, set up in 1977, in the deconsecrated church of St Mary-at-Lambeth is also the burial place of John Tradescant (c1570–1638), the first great gardener and plant-hunter in British history. His magnificent and enigmatic tomb is the centrepiece of a 17th century-inspired knot garden planted with the flowers which grew in his London garden four centuries ago. (You can view these plants under the 'My Garden' tab above.)
The knot garden and its surrounds are planted with species introduced by the Tradescants - such as the scarlet runner bean, red maple and tulip tree - and many others grown by them in their Lambeth garden. It is not only historically significant but also a lush and beautiful spot in the centre of London, cared for by a small horticultural team of staff and volunteers.
As well as the knot garden, the museum has a biodiversity garden, a long border designed by Dan Pearson and St Mary's, the public front garden. Every Saturday a team of volunteers get together in St Mary's to plant and care for flowers for cutting and vegetables for eating. The cut flowers are made into posies to sell on the museum flower cart and we have four raised beds for growing onions, cauliflowers, beetroot, salads, peas and beans.
The Garden Museum holds numerous temporary exhibitions, events and talks by luminaries of the garden world - see www.gardenmuseum.org.uk for details.