Museum of the Home – Sow a Seed campaign

The Museum of the Home in east London has launched a public fundraising appeal to raise £10,000 to restore its much-loved Gardens Through Time, as it completes a major transformation as it works towards reopening in September 2020.

The Sow a Seed Campaign is aimed at raising funds towards the replanting of the gardens and invites gardening enthusiasts and visitors across the country to donate via the Museum’s website. Prices range from £10 for a bag of bulbs to £1,000 for a flower bed.

The Museum is currently undergoing an £18.1 million capital development which will reveal, when it re-opens, new exhibition and event spaces, a brand new Living Green Rooftop and with the help of the new campaign, freshly replanted gardens. As part of the redevelopment, there will also be a new Learning Pavilion and Studio to create perfect spaces for activities with direct access to the gardens.

The gardens provide a unique area of calm, a place for learning and exploring and a haven for wildlife in the heart of urban east London. The Museum’s award winning Gardens Through Time and Walled Herb Garden show how domestic gardens have changed over the past four centuries echoing horticultural fashions and innovations of the time.

Like the Museum’s ​Rooms Through Time, ​th​e Gardens Through Time show how tastes, innovations, and social behaviours have changed over the centuries. The Gardens range from a Tudor Knot Garden originally inspired by Renaissance patterns right through to the Edwardian style-garden, heavily influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement. The Gardens also include a ​Walled Herb Garden containing over 150 different herbs and plants, including cosmetic, medicinal, culinary, household, aromatic and dye plants.

Heather Stevens, Head Gardener at the Museum of the Home says: “”The Museum of the Home is all about how we live and these gardens tell a horticultural story highlighting the role of the garden in domestic life through the centuries. Gardens don’t grow overnight – they take time to develop and mature, along with hard work, dedication and love – and we look forward to returning them to their former glory.​”

The creation of a Living Green Rooftop is a significant project for the Museum, and together with the Gardens Through Time and new exhibition spaces, will provide a valuable context to explore topical and urgent issues related to the theme of home such as sustainability, the environment, urban living and mental health. The Living Roof will be designed by urban garden designer Dusty Gedge, founder of Livingroofs.org and President of the European Federation of Green Roof and Wall Associations, in collaboration with the Museum’s gardening team.

The Walled Herb Garden, opened in 1992, has now matured into an oasis of beauty and botanical interest in Hoxton. With over 150 different herbs, together with a variety of plants traditionally associated with herb gardens such as roses, honeysuckle and lilies, the garden’s twelve beds each contains an informal grouping of herbs which share common use. In the centre is a fountain designed by leading potter Kate Malone. Lesley Bremness has acted as consultant on the planting scheme.

The Museum of the Home is situated at Geffrye Almshouses, 136 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8EA.

You can find out more about the Museum and the Sow a Seed and campaign and also donate by visiting: www.museumofthehome.org.uk

Picture credits: banner: credit Mandy Williams; top middle: Walled Herb Garden credit Jayne Lloyd; bottom middle: 20th century garden credit Mandy Williams.

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