Garden Museum

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The museum is near Lambeth Palace, Lambeth Palace Road.

I went to the museum, a registered charity, for the first time recently, using train to Vauxhall then a quick bus journey to the bus stop at Lambeth Palace, near Vauxhall Bridge over the Thames.

The museum is in a deconsecrated church, St Mary-at-Lambeth, and has a good website.

There is an excellent shop, where you can buy souvenirs, such as mugs and other ceramics, packs of seeds, toys, books on gardening and history, and nick-knacks

Also there is a very nice little cafe for light meals and drinks (not licensed, I believe).

The museum used to be called The Museum of Garden History, and the building itself is an ancient church which was going to be demolished, but has been saved by the concerted efforts of a group of good people.

At the back of the church is the famous knot garden, designed by the Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury.

The knot garden is full of beautiful greenery, cool and shaded with trees. You can sit and feel the peace of the place, although it is just near a busy roundabout at the end of Vauxhall Bridge. You can perhaps imagine how it must have been in the times of the church's importance in the community

Here you can admire the tomb of John Tradescant the elder, (1570-1638) and his son, also John Tradescant, both great plant-hunters. Also there is the tomb of the infamous Captain Blight. See website

I visited the small exhibition when has now ended, on the link between Fashion and Gardening, which had excellent exhibits of embroidery, designs, paintings and pieces of clothing, a lot from the 18th century.

There is a series of other events coming up this year. These include the GROW London fair, at Hampstead Heath, 20-22 June 2014.

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