Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Another avian adventure!

In Uncategorized on August 20, 2009 at 4:20 pm


This story follows neatly on from the last avian adventure featuring Beaky the Blackbird. Yesterday, in the heat of the Knot Garden, we found a baby woodpigeon, clearly lost, confused and a little afraid. After monitoring him for a couple of hours, and seeing no parents visible, we phoned the RSPCA who told us to ‘pop him in a box’ and await their arrival. As it turned out, ‘popping’ a baby woodpigeon into a box is not as easy as it sounds. The pigeon lead us on a merry adventure through the undergrowth, but after about half an hour and some gentle gloved grappling, we managed to secure the bird.

The RSCPA duly arrived in no time at all and told us that we had done the right thing, but that the bird needed to be freed again as he was simply a teenager whose parents had tired of him, and had left him to fend for himself. Woody is now happily wandering the Knot Garden again, although he must have now developed camouflage feathers, as we’ve been trying to find him to photograph to no avail. Here is a nice sketch of him instead.



In Uncategorized on August 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Picture 005

Exciting news! The lettuces we planted in St Mary’s Gardens have sprouted! We ate some the other day and they were truly delicious.

Edward Hutchison – Visitors’ Comments

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Walpole Park

Drawing Space, Landscape Architect Edward Hutchison’s exhibition currently showing at the Museum has received some lovely comments from visitors. A few are shown below:

How great to see the whole process from start to finish. I can feel your brain buzzing! Lovely, evocative sketches. And I was only passing en route to Brixton! What a find. Serendipity!

A really interesting exhibition, beautiful drawings. Thank you.

A very interesting exhibition and I hope I’ve learnt more about Landscape Architecture, so important in our contemporary life.

Inspiring – oh for a second life!

Merci beaucoup pour cette exposition manifique.

A very thought-provoking display – linking design to art in a very creative way

Absolutely fabulous – I loved this so much – beautiful, beautiful work – especially the drawings – feel touched and inspired too – gotta get some tracing paper. Thank you very much.

Great stuff! As an ex-Quantity Surveyor I love the attention to detail!

Landscape Architects are artists. They are creators of beautiful things.

The Scarecrow

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Picture 007

Look out for the latest addition to our staff. The new scarecrow is quickly becoming the staff member who puts in the most hours. Come rain or shine, she provides twenty-four hour protection against both pigeons and wheat-eating bats.

Museum achieves MLA Provisional Accreditation

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm

At the beginning of October, the Museum was invited to apply for Accreditation by the Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA) Council. The application period took six months, and involved every member of staff.

Consequently, we were absolutely thrilled to hear recently that the Museum has been awarded provisional Accreditation – an enormous success.

The MLA has suggested to the Museum various changes to be implemented within the forthcoming year so that it may achieve full Accredited status.

Visit to Cleve West’s Allotment

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2009 at 3:43 pm




On Saturday 15 August a happy troupe made their way across London to Cleve’s allotment in Bushy Park.

Cleve explained the premise of his allotment to the Museum’s visitors and the group was allowed to wander freely about amongst the vegetable canes. Some – unnamed – individuals nibbled growing fruits.

One visitor, volunteer Sarah Langton Lockton – herself an allotmenteer –  describes the site as, “romantic and interesting, with lots of wild bits and vegetables as well as young fruit trees. We met some other friendly allotment holders and sampled their multicultural produce.”

Everyone shared a delicious picnic and Cleve’s partner Christine provided some – now legendary – onion bhajis.

We are terribly grateful to Cleve and Christine for their incredibly generous hospitality. The day was an absolute treat.

The Woodward Plum Fund

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2009 at 3:13 pm

New Image

Christopher has lately been seen at various locations around London, shimmying up plum trees with a large basket, in order to gather the delicious fruits. Visitors wishing to taste the plums offer the Museum donations and we have consequently begun the Woodward Plum Fund, which Philip has already delighted in using to purchase Mrs West’s Tea Garden, Surrey, 1909.

Exciting new lines in the Shop!

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2009 at 3:09 pm


Retail Manager and Buyer Sophie B has been very busy in the shop, installing engaging new lines from Sting in the Tail, Nutscene and Garden Trading.

Nutscene produces a beautiful range of garden twines in attractive colours such as red, green and purple.

Garden Trading produces Mason’s Traditional Flytraps; made using the original moulds that have been in existence for over 50 years, these jars are a great way to catch wasps, flies and bugs. 

To lure the insects in, simply pop a little jam or beer in the base of the trap, and within minutes they will have been dispatched to drunken oblivion. Bugs beware!

Summer Education Report

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2009 at 3:04 pm

This summer many adult groups have visited the Museum, including a group of 29 refugee women based at an arts centre in north London.


Schools and Community Officer Janine set them the task of drawing flowers; they could choose to draw from observation in the Knot Garden or in the exhibition.  The group was encouraged to use colour and paint with watercolours.  Feeling inspired by all that they had seen they responded enthusiastically and also enjoyed seeing the work of others in the group.   The group also picked a variety of leaves from the Knot Garden to make photographic imagery using light (sun) sensitive paper.


On a second visit the group worked from their paintings of flowers and developed designs on fabric bags, adding colour using fabric crayons and pens. 


Many of the women don’t have their own gardens but are keen to grow flowers and herbs on their window sills at home and so Janine engaged them in a seed sowing workshop.   Many have experience of gardens in their countries of origin.


Some of the group helped to pick herbs, flowers and vegetables from the staff allotment and the Education Space was turned into a temporary kitchen and dining room as Museum-grown salads were prepared and eaten.

New Acquisitions

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2009 at 2:58 pm

dig victory

garden end

The curatorial team has recently purchased the latest acquisitions made using the HLF Collecting Cultures grant. These include A World War II Dig for Victory poster instructing people where to apply for allotments and A Garden End, Suffolk photogravure by Peter Emerson, c.1888