Literary Festival 2023 | Line-up and extra tickets released!

We are delighted to share the first confirmed speakers for this year’s Garden Museum Literary Festival, and to celebrate we’ve released a limited amount of extra tickets!

Some of the UK’s most influential and award-winning garden designers and writers will be joining us at Parham Housein Sussex over two summer days, to celebrate the best in garden writing and to share what inspires us in gardens, including Alan Titchmarsh, Advolly Richmond, Isabel Bannerman, Olivia Harrison and Tom Stuart-Smith.

This year we are pleased to also offer an additional six weekend tickets free of charge to students of horticulture and garden design. To apply, please submit around 100 words on why you would benefit from attending to, by Monday 22 May.

Our 2023 Literary Festival will take place at Parham House, one of the country’s finest Elizabethan houses set at the foot of the South Downs in West Sussex, hosted by Lady Emma Barnard and her husband, James.

Fri 23 – Sat 24 June
Limited extra tickets available now!

See the Lit Fest line-up

Last chance to see!
Cecilia Charlton: Memory Garden

Inspired by memories of garden flowers and the slowing of time needed to create both gardens and textiles, four large-scale site-specific weavings by artist Cecilia Charlton are on display this weekend in our historic nave for London Craft Week.

Free entry
Until Sunday 14 May

Find out more

Book Extract | Andrew Timothy O’Brien:
To Stand and Stare

Ahead of his book launch at the Museum on Tuesday 30 May, we share an exclusive extract from podcaster, writer, and online garden coach Andrew Timothy O’Brien’s new book ‘To Stand and Stare: How to garden while doing next to nothing’:

“Let’s get one thing straight. Your garden will get along quite well without you. It just won’t be your garden. It will be that piece of land where once a garden was, and there is no tragedy in that. Every square inch of our planet’s surface is trying to get back to a state where it feels at ease with itself, a way of being from which forestry and agriculture, road building, town planning and, yes, even gardening continually strive to hold it back. This is not whimsy. This is science.

I can see it happening in my lawn, in my flowerbeds and borders and, particularly, in the more forgotten corners of the garden where plants I don’t remember inviting in make themselves at home, sinking roots deep down into soil while reaching ever skyward to gather in the sun’s largesse…”

Keep reading

Talk this week | Greening the Desert

While working in the Middle East in the 1980s, landscape architect Diana Armstrong Bell discovered a new approach to her field: greening the desert.

In this talk, she will share the stories and inspiration that she drew from her experiences in the Middle East, from water capture to resilient planting, and how she applied these ideas at the Arabian Gulf University, Bahrain – even setting up a plant nursery on site. Diana will be joined in conversation by landscape architect, historian and horticulturist Karen Fitzsimon.

Tues 15 May, 7pm
£10 Standard, £5 Friend/Student/Young Frond
£5 Livestream

Book tickets

Cooking Masterclass | Herbs with Rachel Davies

In this three house cooking masterclass, herbs are the star of the show! Herbs can be delicate or hardy, exotic or growing in our public spaces and gardens, they have the potential to add flavour and interest to dishes and yet they are so often overlooked.

Join chef and cookery teacher Rachel Davies as we explore how to use herbs of all kinds, some familiar and some less so, to make delicious food.

The class includes a sit down lunch and a recipe pack to take away.

Sample Menu
Persian Kuku Sabzi (a baked omelette filled with chopped herbs) with a yoghurt, cucumber and fresh mint sauce
Herb oil drizzled honey roasted pumpkin with puy lentils and marinated feta
Chocolate bark with dried edible flowers and herbs
Poached plums with tarragon

Sun 21 May, 10.45am-2pm
£90, includes all ingredients

Book tickets

Branch Out:
Design your own seed packet

At this week’s free Branch Out session we will be exploring our archival seed packets for inspiration. Then participants can design and create your own packet using collage and mono-printing, filling them with seeds to take home.

Thurs 18 May
Drop-in 11am-1pm, 2pm-4pm
Free entry

Branch Out has been made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England

See all Branch Out events

Object of the Week: The Artist’s House at
19 Queensland Avenue, London, by Harry Bush

Bush and the artist Noel Laura Nisbet (1887–1956), whom he married in 1910, lived in the same semi-detached house in Queensland Avenue, Merton Park, SW19, (a gift from Noel’s father) from 1914 until their deaths. Over the years Bush regularly depicted the suburban back gardens seen from his studio, many of which were exhibited at The Royal Academy, as was the case with this work in 1940. Bush saw the ancestry of his art in the quiet dignity of Dutch and Flemish domestic scenes, and, as his younger daughter recalled, mixed pigments and oils, ‘so that his work should mellow, glow and last, and if possible, improve’.

This painting is on display in our current exhibition Private & Public: Finding the Modern British Garden until 4 June. Presented in partnership with Liss Llewellyn, works are available to purchase in aid of our education and exhibitions programmes.

Explore the online exhibition
Images: Parham House (c) Jonathan Wilkinson; Cecilia Charlton: Memory Garden installation view (c) Ben Deakin; Andrew Timothy O’Brien (c) Sundari Ferris; Greening the Desert illustration (c) Diana Armstrong Bell; Herbs (c) Rachel Davies; The Artist’s House by Harry Bush (1883-1957), image courtesy of Liss Llewellyn