|January was stocktaking the collections time.|
The Garden Museum used to do a very good plant sale. It still does have a spring plant fair (this year - Sunday 29th April 10.30 to 4pm) but I find it hard to believe it is quite as good as it used to be. In the days when I had my nursery (1986-1992) I used to be one of the sellers. The doors would open and it was like well-heeled locusts descending. You would sell everything, in what felt like a matter of minutes. The van went back empty, your pockets bulging with big rolls of notes. I remember Carol Klein always came as well, usually late and all-over-the-place but with fantastic plants that everyone loved. I remember it was the only time I met Graham Stuart Thomas, an old man with the famous buttonhole (although I can’t remember what the flower was).
The museum bumbled on in the way that things do, and then they got a whizzy new director, who shook things up a bit, and the place has never looked back. Once run by the sort of well-meaning, well-off, but basically rather ineffectual people who run so many things in Britain (including usually, and most unfortunately, the country itself), times changed. It stopped being the Museum of Garden History and became the Garden Museum, which signaled that it was not just about the past but the present, a place to discuss the contemporary significance of the garden. New exhibitions sprouted, an elegant piece of Swiss-designed blonde woodwork cleverly made a bit more space without as much as a bolt into the listed building walls. Lots of dynamic young staff appeared. Things happened. And continue to happen.
Oh, there is a nice little garden round the back. And intriguing planting out front. Drop in the next time you are ‘in town’.