Paris & London/Chelsea Flower Show
May 17-26, 2008 Tour
May 23, Day 7.
After breakfast, we started our day with a visit to the Museum of Garden
History and then visited Cliveden Gardens .
The Museum of Garden History will have a new name in November 2008 – The
‘Situated in the restored church of St. Mary-at-Lambeth, adjacent to Lambeth
Palace on the banks of the River Thames, the Museum of Garden History
provides an insight into the history and development of gardens and
gardening in the UK, an important facet in our social history. The Museum
houses one of the finest public displays of garden tools and garden related
artifacts and curiosities in the country, as well as an intriguing
collection of garden related ephemera. In addition, a beautiful reproduction
17th century knot garden filled with flowers and shrubs of the period has
been created in the graveyard around the tombs of the famous 17th century
plant hunters, the John Tradescants, father and son, and Captain William
Bligh of the 'Bounty'.’
Cliveden is a spectacular estate overlooking River Thames with a series of
gardens each with its own character featuring roses, topiary, statuary,
water gardens, formal parterre, woodland and riverside walks and informal
vistas. The famous balustrade which graces the terrace was acquired by Astor
from the Villa Borghese in Rome. He also acquired some ancient Roman
sarcophagi, urns and statuary which are spread amongst the formal gardens.
The dramatic 'Fountain of Love' seems appropriate.
In September 1939, with the outbreak of World War II, Astor offered the
land, for a rent of 1 shilling per year, to the Canadian Red Cross, and the
Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital was built to the designs of architect
Robert Atkinson. After the war the hospital's main focus was as a nursing
school, a maternity unit and a rheumatology unit, which was headed by Dr
I have to tell you that visiting this memorial garden was very special. I
knew none of these people but 28 of them were Canadian. That was enough.
‘Magnificent formal gardens overlooking the River Thames, once the exclusive
haunt of the rich and famous’ Stunning series of formal gardens, each with
its own style and character. Celebrated parterre and magnificent Italianate
mansion (private hotel). Outstanding collection of sculpture and statues
from the ancient and modern world. Spectacular views and enchanting walks
through woodland and along the least spoilt stretch of the River Thames.
Once the glittering hub of high society, home to the 'fabulous Astors' and
infamously associated with the 'Profumo Affair'.