Garden Museum

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Family including children under 16

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My sister, niece and I visited the Garden Museum yesterday and found it fascinating. It's located in the deconsecrated church of St Mary at Lambeth. We used the British Rail 2 for 1 voucher for entry for two of us and my sister, being a member of the RHS, was able to enter free (a temporary concession I think).

There was an excellent shop and a nice, though rather pricey cafe (being a very cold day we were sorry they'd run out of soup!) There is a special exhibition on until 5th January next year, all about Gardens and War and we found it extremely interesting. We read all about the "Trench Gardens" on the western front where flowers and vegetables were grown and the Ruhleben Horticultural society that was started by British internees in a German internment camp during World War 1.

In a different area were stands bearing large coloured photos of gardens in places where warfare is prevalent today – and write-ups about the people who tend to them, trying to forget the horrors of the bombs falling nearby.

Of particular interest to me was a large display of cotton hankies that had been stitched or painted or had transfers attached to them, all relating to WW1. Some depicted poppies, others had messages from soldiers serving abroad – and one even showed the Great Flower Shrine in Hyde Park that I'd read about elsewhere in the museum.

Upstairs (unfortunately the lift was out of use that day) were all manner of gardening tools through the ages – some amazing old watering cans; paintings of gardens; seeds and implements used for counting them: just so much to look at.

It was a really interesting place to visit and so easy to get to by bus or just a pleasant stroll along by the river from Westminster.

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