Houseplant Festival this weekend!

We’re filling the museum with our favourite plant stalls for all your indoor jungle needs this weekend – from sustainably grown houseplants, succulents, cacti and orchids to terrariums, beautiful pots, planters, tools and more.

Plus a jam-packed programme of activities including:

James Wong on indoor ecosystems
Jane Perrone on how to propagate your houseplants
Barbican Head Gardener Marta Lowcewicz on gardening houseplants in the Barbican Conservatory
Free plant swap hosted by London Terrariums
Make a terrarium with Plant Designs

Sat 22 – Sun 23 October, 10am – 5pm
£7 Standard, £6 Friends, £6 Young Fronds

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Our Retail Manager Elef looks through hundreds of images and objects in the Garden Museum collection to design unique greetings cards with. His most recent find is this lithographic illustration from an 1861 book about growing indoor plants. These cards will be among the special selection of houseplant themed ephemera in the Garden Museum Shop this weekend for the Houseplant Festival: books, cards, tools, gifts and more!
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Plant Science Lecture
Leif Bersweden: Where the Wildflowers Grow

In 2021, Leif Bersweden went on a big botanical adventure around Britain and Ireland with his bike, travelling from Hampshire’s Bluebell woods to the shores of Shetland, to track down our most intriguing and well-known plants, with the people who love them most dearly. Leif’s latest book, Where the Wildflowers Grow, follows him on that journey as he botanises his way through an entire calendar year, meeting our plants, telling their stories and exploring people’s connection to their local flora.

Plants are capable of extraordinary things that we rarely hear about or give them credit for, and Leif is here to share their ways with new audiences. This talk, like the book, is all about the joy of engaging with nature, the importance of plants for our climate, and celebrating our unbelievable botanical diversity

This talk is part of our new Plant Science Lecture series organised by the Garden Museum’s Plant Science Educator Samia Qureshi. 

Fri 25 November, 7pm
£15 Standard, £5 Students / Young Fronds

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October Half-Term

We have cooking, art, science and nature activities coming up this half-term for all ages, inspired by our new exhibition Lucian Freud: Plant Portraits! Highlights include:

Family Art Workshop: Autumnal Trees in Print

A monoprint is a one-off print which involves drawing on the back of paper whilst pressing onto ink. We will look at and feel the texture of some of the trees outside at the Garden Museum and collect some autumnal leaves which we can make some rubbings and prints from.

We will then experiment with mono-printing using a roller and ink. Be prepared to get a bit messy!

Mon 24 October, 2pm
£2 per child

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Twilight Bat Walk

Hosted by Lambeth Council’s ‘borough ecologist’ Dr Iain Boulton, we’ll be looking for bats and bat activity on this evening walk round Archbishops Park next to the Museum. The walk, which normally lasts for an hour, will use tools such as bat detectors to listen for bats, and hopefully you’ll also see them as your eyes get used to the dark!

Find out about the origins, importance and lifestyles of our British bats, and what we can do to help protect and encourage them.

Tues 25 October, 6pm
£10 Adults, kids go free!

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Magical Moss and Fantastic Ferns

Join us to learn about the plant science of moss and ferns! In this workshop we will collect samples of moss and ferns from the tombs and walls in our gardens. Then we’ll examine our samples under a range of different microscopes, looking at fern leaves known as fronds and learning about plant structures and life cycles.

We will use the leaves to make fern prints on fabric or paper using paint or hammers which you can take home at the end of the session.

Tues 27 October, 2pm
£2 per child

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Object of the Week
Flowers on a Red Chair (1998), Lucian Freud

Freud’s worn-out, red upholstered chair on wheels was a staple in his studio and has appeared in six canvases. A relatively unusual painting for the artist, Flowers on a Red Chair is a poetic meditation on absence and presence and the role flowers play in the aftermath of loss. Casually abandoned on the empty chair, Freud’s flowers gesture towards the inconsistent nature of memory. He may be revisiting the tradition of the Dutch still-life in which flower compositions remind us of death—the memento mori—in a wholly domestic, understated, and very intimate scene.

Lucian Freud: Plant Portraits is open until 5 March

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Images: Houseplant Festival 2021 (c) Graham Lacdao; Where the Wild Flowers Grow cover courtesy of Leif Bersweden; Ferns in the Garden Museum courtyard photo by Matt Collins; Flowers on a Red Chair, 1998 (oil on canvas) Freud, Lucian, Private Collection © The Lucian Freud Archive, Bridgeman Images
Garden Museum
5 Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7LB

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