£7.5m redevelopment adds new galleries and a garden by Dan Pearson

CGI view of the new courtyard garden from the cafe

London’s Garden Museum reopens on 22 May following an 18-month, £7.5m redevelopment.

Major new additions include a new bronze-edged courtyard extension framing a garden designed by Dan Pearson, and the Ark Gallery, a collection of 17th-century artefacts from the famous Tradescant father-and-son gardeners, on long loan from the Ashmolean, the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology. For his garden, Pearson has used rare plants as a homage to the Tradescants.

The Garden Museum is the only museum in Britain dedicated to the art, history, and design of gardens, and is a unique information resource for amateur and professional gardeners. The reopening will also mark the unveiling of the country’s first archive of garden design, containing photographs, plans, drawings and books, as well as a learning centre for use by schools.

In the middle of the museum courtyard is the Garden Wall, an installation covered with glazed tiles of favourite green spaces sent in by members of the public.

The first temporary exhibitions in the new galleries will be paintings by Eileen Hogan of people’s favourite green spaces, and watercolours by 50 eminent botanical artists inspired by the 17th century illustrated tome The Tradescants’ Orchard.

Christopher Woodward, director of the Garden Museum, said: ‘Britain is often said to be “a nation of gardeners” and it now has a museum of its gardening heritage. This project, supported by the National Lottery, has enabled us to put our collection on display for the first time.

‘It is a modern museum in a very ancient place. But we also hope it is a happy, quiet place to just come and be.’

The Garden Museum, at Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1, is open daily between 10.30am and 5pm (4pm on Saturdays). Find more details, including admission prices, at www.gardenmuseum.org.uk.


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