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 Garden Museum.

‘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 Barbara Ansell.
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'.



  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row