knot garden and tombs

knot garden and tombs

Image courtesy of Sheila Warden

Lily

Lily

Garden

The Museum’s garden was created in 1980.  At its heart is a knot garden designed by the Museum’s President, The Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury (who was then also re-making the gardens at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire).  The reason for the seventeenth-century spirit of the design is that our garden also houses the tomb of the great plant-hunters, gardeners and collectors, John Tradescant the Elder (c.1570-1638) and Younger (1608-1662), the rediscovery of which originally inspired the creation of a museum of garden history in the deconsecrated, and then derelict, church of St Mary-at-Lambeth. 

The knot garden and its surrounds are planted with species introduced by the Tradescants - such as the scarlet runner bean, red maple and tulip tree - and many others grown by them in their Lambeth garden. It is not only historically significant but also a lush and beautiful spot in the centre of London, cared for by a small horticultural team of staff and volunteers.

You can read more about the Tradescant tomb here

Matt Collins is our Horticultural Consultant and can be contacted on matt@gardenmuseum.org.uk

Our current Horticultural Trainee, Aoife Power, has created a blog. For a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into maintaining our gardens, and her traineeship experience click here

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