As I'm not inclined to do unlimited tourist attractions, having accomplished much of this on a previous visit...I am enjoying picking and choosing the most attractive ideas on my list and heading for them. Of course the list is ridiculously long and the days rapidly become full and exhausting. And of course, some of it has to do with enjoyment, shopping and general interest rather than all gardens.
So...I went shopping. You can buy anything in London.
Half the fun of being out and about here is merging with the crowd and catching the tube.
But beware....be warned and take care..it's really easy to get robbed and ripped off....we had experience of it today. It takes but a moment of distraction and 30 seconds of slight of hand....those famous london pickpockets.
For our gardening selection today...we ventured to the Museum of Gardening History. Mainly because they had a retrospective exhibition about the recent work of Tom Stuart-Smith. I do like some of the work he has done. Its very thoughtful and his drawings are superb.
The Garden History Museum is set in an old church at the end of the street, making it a bit hard to initially find. But the church was saved in the 70's when they realised the graves of the Tradescants were there and in recent years a renovation using modern wooden platforms has been inserted into the church to give the museum more of a presence. It's been done quite well. The garden is small but quite old and has been renovated. The permanent collection is interesting although quite lacking....lots of old implements and photos and relevant garden paraphernalia etc. Apparently a lot has been put away and isn't back out yet. They really need to get onto that, as for the price of 7pounds, it would be good to see a bit more. The Tom Stuart- Smith stuff saved the day.
This evening we were lucky enough to go to a Garden Illustrated lecture at the Royal Geographical Society no less with a panel of three modern designers discussing their insights and a few other famous people chairing the discussion. This was great fun and really interesting. We did find out that English garden designer are the best in the world as are English gardens!! (so little else exists apparently!). There were lots of other interesting tit bits and one of the speakers - Cleve West - had just won a chelsea medal today, so that caused much sensation and conversation.
Yes its the day they release who got a medal today- record number of medals at Chelsea this year.. And chelsea fever abounds....there are television updates and ladys in floral dresses alighting the tube at Sloane Square, and bits of articles in the paper everywhere. Some people do however look at you blankly when you mention Chelsea though and have no idea it is on and call it that flower thingy.....must have to be a certain type of person maybe??