Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Le Clos du Peyronnet

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2009 at 1:53 pm


Last night Trustee Giles Waterfield and his brother William gave an inspiring lecture about Le Clos du Peyronnet, their family home in the south of France. The garden was begun by their grandfather in 1915 and inspired Giles’ classic novel The Long Afternoon.

The evening was a glittering, sold-out success and guests enjoyed avocados from the garden.


The Chickens Return!

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2009 at 4:09 pm

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Hurrah! The chickens are back! Al went to collect them from Vauxhall City Farm this afternoon and returned with them in a bicycle-mounted cat basket – offsetting the Museum’s carbon footprint by some margin. Here they are being examined by Skye, our Chef, and then happily ensconced in their new home.

New Shop Stock!

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Allotment JournalsSM

The Retail Department has produced a wonderful Allotment Journal to reflect our new exhibition, ‘The Good Life’.  Full of striking images taken from the exhibition, the journal is a great place to record your allotment plans, stock rotations, seed sowing schedules and notes on successes!  Split by month, the journal can be used for many years to compare each year’s progress with the last.

A perfect Christmas present for those who love to grow their own!  Great value for just £10.

Available from the Garden Museum shop or by mail order – contact

New Garden Cafe Menu

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm


The Garden Café will be launching its autumn and winter menu next week. Prepare your tastebuds now for: 

  • Pumpkin and cannellini with halloumi
  • Indian spiced cauliflower and coconut
  • Moroccan chickpea and fruit tagine
  • Mushroom and sweet chestnut stroganoff
  • Broccoli and stilton quiche

Chicken Saga

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm

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Following the installation of our chickens on 5 October, much has been afoot.

The chickens – born and bred at local Vauhall City Farm – were named: Margot, Barbara, Joy and Alys (although Margot sometimes likes to go by the moniker Perfect).

Then, alas, (temporary) disaster struck, not once, but twice! Firstly, we noticed that Alys was suffering from malaise; indeed, poor Alys was not feeding, her tail was permanently down and she was sitting forlornly on her own in a corner of the coop, not making her perambulation of the pen with her feathered sisters in her usual ebullient manner.

We called the Farm, and Farmyard Trainee Rob McLaren came to collect Alys in a cat basket, taking her back to recuperate.  Rob didn’t think Alys’ condition was too serious and that her melancholy was probably due to her maladjustment to her new environment.

After Alys’ departure, the remaining chickens continued to cluck contentedly around the coop and seemed in fine fettle, until one evening when we tried to put them to bed. Heavy rain had been falling continuously throughout the day, causing the fox-proof security hatch to the chickens’ mezzanine bedroom to warp to the extent that it was no longer a renard deterrent.

After a second call to the Farm was placed, and the Farm’s chicken-rescue team came again to our aid, temporarily removing the remaining three chickens to a place of safety, several members of staff – some in heels – braved the confines of the coop in an attempt to mend the hatch, but this only resulted in puffing and grunting, human sounds that were frighteningly followed by a most inhuman one. With an almighty creak and a great splitting of wood, the coop was no more. Fragments of its tattered self lay around the lawn, the only reminders of its once grand glory.

We have since rebuilt the coop and its reincarnation – a much more modest affair – awaits the return of our feathered friends. They should be back at the Museum before too long and we will update you when they arrive.

The Woodward Apple Fund

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

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Following our August report on the Woodward Plum Fund, we are delighted to report that the Director has now been climbing urban apple trees in his quest to liberate the wild apples of London from their leafy homes and deliver them to the capital’s citizens. With funds donated in return the Museum has purchased this latest acquisition – a photograph of an allotment holder.

What Is The Good Life Now?

In Uncategorized on October 5, 2009 at 3:01 pm


Add your comments below to our ongoing debate, begun at the Museum on 5 October.


Tell us:

What is the good life today?

What is your grow-your-own story?

What are the barriers to growing-your-own? Why aren’t more people doing it?

A Goat, Some Chickens, and a Sheep!

In Uncategorized on October 5, 2009 at 1:55 pm

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To launch our new exhibition The Good Life, we invited Tom Davies, Farmyard Manager at Vauxhall City Farm to the Museum, along with some of his friends…

Tom arrived bright and early this morning, along with his colleague Roger – from Kingston City Farm – some chickens, a goat, Lexie and – unexpectedly – a sheep, Lulu.

Four beautiful chickens, of the White Sussex and Speckled Sussex variety were coaxed into their new home, an architectural masterpiece of a chicken coop, built by Al. The coop features a trendy mezzanine level for the chickens to sleep in at night, accessed by a nifty little ramp. Before long, despite the pouring rain, the chickens were happily scratching around their new abode making delightful chicken noises. We are considering installing a ‘chickencam’, making the chicken house into a veritable ‘panopticoop’… watch this space!

Tom told us that goats and sheep don’t like the rain very much, and so rather than sticking to plan and housing them temporarily in the Knot Garden, we decided to make our ungulates more comfortable in a special pen in the nave, much to the interest of the assembled press. Lexie and Lulu – inseparable, apparently, having been bottle-fed and raised together since birth – were quite vocal at first but eventually settled down for a chew on some hay (as well as a bit of melon meant for the press) and a snooze.

The chickens will stay with us for the duration of the exhibition whist goat and sheep will visit again during special events.