Private View at The Garden Museum in Lambeth!

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I sit next to a glamorous woman in a black chiffon dress on the 507 at Victoria heading for Lambeth Palace and  we get talking, as one does!  Three hours ago I was still potting on sunflowers in my garden in Brighton but now I am heading for the Poetry School. I mustn’t be late!

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I learn that my travelling companion is a friend of the The Garden Museum and is off to the private view within minutes, she has invited me to join her as her guest.

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I’m not dressed for the occasion and will only have twenty minutes even if I run to the Poetry School!   But then I love that museum and I was going to visit it later in the summer anyway.

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Iris is a happy optimistic person and suggests I stay for as long as I can. We are a little early so wait in a park nearby, where one or two others are trying to keep their balance as they change into their private view party shoes. I have a feeling this event is going to be fun!

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Amazing … we are the very first visitors and within minutes I am sipping white wine, nibbling a canape, looking at a newly organised interior, the art work, installations, stained glass windows etc.

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Iris has read all about the renovations and tells me about the tombs that were uncovered unexpectedly whilst carrying out the new work. The steps to the medieval tower are a new challenge but for me there’s simply not enough time!

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The Garden Wall scheme is fun (an imaginative project to raise further funds) and we meet Joyce Grenfell’s nephew who has just donated a picture of his aunt for the project! What a fantastic woman she was, I’m sure she would have approved!

But now I really do have to run, I have a poem to read! But grab the details about being a friend of the museum and contributing to the wall!

A big thank you to Iris and I’ll be back again next week but hope we meet again.

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The following information is taken from The Garden Museum’s Website

The Museum developed its collection over lthree decades and now has a number of historic garden tools, diaries, and catalogues which tell the story of the British garden from 1600 to the present day. The Museum’s photograph collection is one of the best records of the domestic garden, illustrating how it has been used and the changing fashions in design from the dawn of photography to the present day. The Museum also has a number of rare books, including a sixteenth century hortus siccus which once belonged to the botanist, Dr John Fothergill.


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Poet in residence in Earls Court Square!

Oh that’s me!

One of the poets taking part in the Open Garden Squares Weekend 17th and 18th June with many thanks to The Poetry school for such a unique opportunity.

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Katrina the enthusiastic chairman of the garden committee has shared some the gardens history, shown me her favourite plants and told me about the plans for the weekend. There will be musicians, a gazebos for tea and cakes etc.  I have also talked to Eyre an absolute gem and very knowledgeable gardener!


Katina and Eyre

It is all so exciting and I am beginning to think about its trees, plants, interesting residents past and present.

So now for less gardening in my own garden and more ideas for poems on paper!

Do come and say hallo if you are in London that weekend.

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My garden one of my favourite things…

P1070706Even if the Wisteria that we planted when we moved here has taken 10 years to bloom and is not really in an ideal place!

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I didn’t plan the garden exactly it has evolved,  but we did bring quite a few shrubs in pots from our gardens in London when we moved down here.

I tend to plant a few seeds in Spring and I buy established tomatoes and courgettes to plant in black P1070702buckets. I divide the contents of a ‘groP1070712w bag’ into each bucket,  add a plant to each one, put them in the greenhouse and keep them well watered.

I can’t resist anything that gets reduced in the garden center so this year we have potatoes in special bags and trailing begonias in pots.

When something pops up unexpectedly I tend to leave it be, hence buttercups, forget-me-nots and marigolds in unexpected places!

I think I find it easier to commune with nature than I do with people.

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The frogs and newts have started to show themselves in the pond which is how I like it!


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Teresa Winchester’s Open House!

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This is Teresa Winchester’s Open House in Preston Park.
The private view was packed as usual with l lovely art work and other goodies.

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Especially liked the very original hand made moving models in wood (I suspect toys for grown ups)

Open for the next four weekends at 45 PRESTON DROVE Brighton and with teas and cakes in the garden!

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Bluebell Woods with Robin

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Poetry and Paper mâché – Brighton’s 2017 Children’s Parade…

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opens the Festival with New Orleans style music, colourful costumes, paper parasols,

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wasps and wings, a unicorn, blackbirds, an owl and a pussycat and naturally cows that go bong!

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Seventy schools have taken part each with a children’s poem as the theme …

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Poems by Spike Milligan, Edward Lear, Caroline Duffy and many others are represented here today!

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endless work for those teachers, parents, carers and well as the children. Thousands attend and enjoy the event including me!

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Briefly to Brompton Cemetery and breakfast at Troubadour!

Doesn’t have quite the same ring as ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ but on a sunny morning quite romantic none the less…

Brompton Cemetery,  What an amazing place, wonderful walkway, bluebells, beautiful architecture and interesting gravestones.

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P1070207-001   P1070205   P1070206-001Discovered the grave of a Tom Foy (1879 – 7 August 1917) an English music hall performer and comedian, who was born in Manchester of Irish parents.

Looked him up as one does and discovered he served an apprenticeship as a sign painter. Later he became bored and joined a circus as a  scenery artist and also performed as a clown.

How enterprising is that! At about 7 or 8 my sister and I had dreams of joining a circus and my father even put up a tightrope in the attic bedroom where we could practice, needless to say we fell off a lot!

But Tom was made of sterner stuff,  He joined a Wild West show before heading to London and becoming a famous comedian and pantomime performer. He was famous for sketches as ‘Tom Foy and his Donkey’.

On 23 July 1917, whilst on stage at the Argyle Theatre in Birkenhead, he collapsed. He died two weeks later at the age of 38. He was buried in Brompton Cemetery  on the east side of the main central path, not far from the main north entrance. What a life!

I love looking at old gravestones.  I used to live in Highgate and went on guided tChristina ROSSETTIours round the old overgrown section of the cemetery to find various graves including that of Elizabeth Siddal. She was Rossetti’s model and muse and at her burial in Highgate Cemetery he placed a book of his unfinished poems under her hair next to her cheek.

Unfortunately, in 1869 he decided that he needed his poems back, so Siddal was disinterred, with a notorious art dealer called Charles Howell as witness. When the coffin was  opened Howell claimed that she was perfectly preserved and her hair had continued to grow, the curls filling the wooden box, as red as ever, glinting in the moonlight.

I was once taken to a more modest part of the cemetery where my great grandmother is buried. It is near the disused gate in Chester Road down the road from where we lived. No headstone even 40 or more years ago, but my mother knew exactly where she was as she had regularly placed a posy of flowers in her memory as a child.

Brompton Cemetery is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is managed by the Royal Parks, and is one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries. We will go back again but with much more time.

Breakfast at Troubadour in their secret garden!

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Small print – Regular readers may have noticed I have not blogged as regularly for some months. As well as being busy have had worrying problems with my vision! Turned out to be side effect of drugs I have to take – nothing to do with glasses etc. Moral of this tale is read the leaflet in the pill packet very carefully!

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