29 Jul 2012

Other fragments of paradise

As part of doing some research on gardens, the team have been around a few places to discover what other fragments of paradise could be discovered in and around London. 

The North American Landscape Kew at British Museum

Where: British Museum
Type: temporary exhibition

The British Museum is playing host to Kew Garden’s ‘North American Landscape’ from 10th May to 25 November 2012. 

The main motive of the temporary garden is to strengthen the cultural understanding of geographical landscapes around the world and support biodiversity conservation. It draws attention to botanical diversity and the threats faced by the north American plants due to the destruction of the natural habitat.  

The garden itself is a very nicely landscaped temporary construction, with a great wealth of flowers, shrubs and trees. A little wooden bridge gives access to the centre of the garden and each planting has an educative text. The garden is visited by the hundreds of visitors to the British Museum and people sit around the edge to enjoy a little corner of peace and relaxation in the middle of a busy, urban and cultural setting in the centre of London.

The project is a collaborative partnership between Kew Gardens and the British Museum, the London Borough of Camden, Botanical organisations and the universities across the United Sates. The project is financed by American Express is the financial supporter of the garden. The ‘Landform Consultant’ is behind the beautiful design and construction of Landscape.

Geffrye Museum & Garden

Where: Geffrye Museum
Type: Museum garden, permanent

Geffrye Museum is one of Hackney’s nicest and well maintained museum, hostings rooms based on interior design across the ages. The museum has a private garden maintained as a herb garden and for educational purposes. Recent development of the garden also provided an opportunity to explore the links between the domestic interiors and gardens. Its designs was inspired by a historical study of middle class gardens in Victorian times.  

Photos © Gavin Gardiner on LondonHolic 

The museum and its garden are maintained by the Geffrye Museum Trust and London County Council with funding from Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS). The garden conducts various activities, educational events in gardening and horticulture.

Kings Cross Skip Garden

Where: Kings Cross Central (development)
Type: Temporary community garden

Global Generation, a local charity that works in educating young people (not just in gardening) has taken base on the Kings Cross regeneration site. Their innovative approach to overcoming the ‘temporary’ feature of the project was to build the garden elements in skips! This not only gives them the capacity to relocate if necessary but also gives them a strong and unparalleled identity.
Everything in the Skip garden is recycled and built by the charity Global Generation with the great support of the local community.

Dalston Eastern Curve 

Where: Dalston Junction
Type: Temporary community garden

This garden provides learning and skills development in horticulture as well as an atmosphere where the local community feels connected with and can come together in a natural environment.
It is by all standards a fantastic example of a pro-active community coming together to maintain a space which serves them. 

The project started as the Dalston Mill (2010), designed by EXYZT architects on the site of the old railway line. This was such a great success that the local groups, not least Open Dalston took ownership of it and it became the Eastern Curve. A temporary project, it is source of many local happening, such as gardening courses and community based events.

We've got more wonderful places to look at: Arnold Circus, Fortune Green, Victory Row, etc and we'll share these soon.