The Garden in Winter

A weekend in London and a visit to the wonderful Garden Museum

DSC_0033

Tucked away next to Lambeth Palace, the Museum is housed in a converted church.  The 16th century plant hunters, gardeners and collectors, John Tradescant the Elder (c.1570-1638) and Younger (1608-1662), are buried in an ornate tomb in the garden.  Apparently they used to have a small botanical museum in the area, which they called the Ark.

1997_027_Musaeum_Tradescantianum_1656

At this time of year everywhere’s rather bare and back to the bone, but I look forward to returning to see it during the summer.  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.

2011_090_Bawden_Kew_Poster_1936_J

A great way to spend a winter Saturday, looking at old spades and hoes, mowers and watering cans!  Lots of quaint adverts reflecting changes in horticultural fashions.

2000_100_Hortico_c1967_0

As well as the permanent collection, there was also an exhibition of art inspired by gardens over the centuries.  I found a lovely book in the shop recording Charlotte Verity’s year as Artist in Residence – beautiful, delicate paintings and drawings.

Unknown-1

I envied her the chance to observe the changing seasons in such a small but resonant space – time to go deep into it and let it go deep inside her.  I felt something like that during my time at Moorbank.  Looking more widely now at a range of different gardens, I am missing that sense of a clear boundary.  Poetry for me works best in sharp focus, in miniature.  The absences associated with winter also make for a certain spareness just now.  Perhaps the turn of the Solstice will shift things…

Unknown-2

What Love is Like in Winter

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

One thought on “The Garden in Winter

  1. Chris Phillips says:

    Thanks for these posts, Linda, and the opportunity to enjoy the gardens with you. The poem in this latest is beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: