Fashion & Gardens at The Garden Museum

Lady Birley by Valerie Finniss

Valerie Finnis and Lady Birley

So who knew there was a garden museum in London? Not me, that’s for sure, but apparently there is.

A self-funded museum which relies entirely on its visitors, the Museum’s garden was created in 1980 and is filled with flowers and shrubs of the period. Situated in the restored church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, adjacent to Lambeth Palace on the banks of the Thames, the Garden Museum provides an insight into the history and development of gardens and gardening in the UK and houses one of the finest public displays of garden tools and related artefacts and ephemera.

Recca Louise Law

Rebecca Louise Law’s installation commissioned by The Garden Museum for the Flowers & Fashion exhibition, featuring a floating meadow of 4,600 blooms.

Fashion & Gardens explores the relationship between fashion and garden design, from the age of Queen Elizabeth I to today’s catwalk shows. The exhibition is curated by writer, historian and Garden Museum Trustee Nicola Shulman and identifies and celebrates the many links between gardening and fashion design, which has existed for centuries.

Like gardeners, the fashion industry follows a seasonal cycle, always looking ahead to the next season, trying to anticipate the changes of light, temperature, mood and scale that await at the turn of the year.  Both gardens and clothes aim to bring a sense of occasion to a season.

The exhibition features designers such as Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Christopher Bailey who said of his Spring/Summer 2014 Burberry collection, “I wanted this idea of an English rose garden. There are all these very dusky, gentle, soft colours and then all of a sudden you’ll see a spiky, very red rose in the middle of it.”

Fashion and Gardens: Spring/Summer – Autumn/Winter is at the Garden Museum until April 27


  • I love the Garden Museum! (you need to get yourself over to south London more often ;) ) But sadly this exhibition isn’t very good, it’s tiny and I wouldn’t recommend spending the entrance fee. The flower display is gorgeous though and you don’t have to pay to see that.

  • Jane says:

    I know. South is the new East it seems!! Thats a shame, might add a note onto the post as would hate for people to waste their money.

    Thanks Aly x

  • Tiffany says:

    Oh, I’m glad to hear that it’s not that good an exhibition – I was feeling sad that I don’t live in London :)

  • mary says:

    I agree. When you think of all the wonderful free exhibitions on in London, the Garden Museum is very pricey for what I’d describe as a display in a tiny space rather than an exhibition. On the plus side, their café is excellent (I might be wrong, but I think you have to pay even to access the café.)

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