Thursday, September 11, 2008

The RHS at the Inner Temple

The RHS at the Inner Temple
11" x 16", coloured pencils in Daler Rowney sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Last week I went to the RHS Floral Celebration in the gardens of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple - one of the four Inns of Court, where you normally find lots of barristers.

The show celebrated the return of the RHS to the Inner Temple after more than 90 years. Between 1888 and 1911 it hosted 24 flower shows (pre-Chelsea). You can read more about the History and background of the Inner Temple show but BEWARE it's a 2MB pdf file.

There were over 30 floral exhibitors - you can see some of the ones that were in the marquee. Due to the past associations it was interesting to see some of exhibitors had historical displays. I really enjoyed Pennard Plants display of period vegetables and historic gardening items.

The photo on the right is of a display of Chilli Plants done in theatre style - which I always thought was just done for auriculas (as in the Auricula Theatres at Calke Abbey and the National Botanic Garden for Wales)

My sketch was done from the Broad Walk at the Embankment end of the garden where they had erected the tea tents - looking back to the Inner Temple grounds and the marquees. Now - I have a confession to make which is that no matter how much I worked on this sketch I could't get the value difference between tree and background - so I tweaked it in PS and it's now much better! ;) I suspect it's the paper - I've had problems before when I've wanted a really strong dark value..

The Inner Temple reminds me very much of the colleges from my time in Cambridge - and all the people I knew who left there to go and become barristers in very similar surroundings in London. I went to go and look for an old barrister friend who I'd not seen in 'forever' and found his name was now very near the top of the listing at the entrance to his chambers - but I guess it would be given he's now been there for over 30 years!

This year, the Inner Temple is celebrating its 400th anniversary with the Temple Festival - running all year. Some of the famous people who became members of the Inner Temple during that period include Sir Francis Drake, Judge Jeffreys, James Boswell, Bram Stoker, Gandhi and Jinnah and Nehru, John Maynard Keynes, AJP Taylor and John Mortimer (and Horace Rumpole)!

The Temple Garden is normally open to the public on week days between 12.30pm and 3pm. A plan of the garden is available on the website.

The construction of the Victoria Embankment at Temple, London 1865
Image from Wikimedia Commons

The boundary of the garden - the Broad Walk - has a line of very old plane trees. I think they must have been planted after the Embankment was constructed in the nineteenth century. On the right is an image of the construction. The section in the foreground is near the Inner Temple and the Middle Temple. Somerset House is in the background. The bridge is the old version of Waterloo Bridge.

I wonder if they started having the flower shows there after the garden was extended?


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