Saturday, April 28, 2012

The gardens at the Geffreye Museum

Yesterday I visited the Geffreye Museum with the Drawing London Group.  This is a museum of the home and garden between 1600 and the present day.  It's situated in Hoxton - inbetween Kingsland Road and the new Hoxton London Overground Station (opened July 2010).

The weather wasn't brilliant (constant showers) but the view of the period gardens at the rear of the museum from the cafe was - so I stayed inside during the morning and was able to sit comfortably, spead by pencils on a table and drink cups of tea!  Bliss!

After a very satisfactory lunch, I then visited the exhibition and then sketched in the garden in afternoon - with a few false starts due to the rain.

Both the sketches of gardens at the rear of the Geffreye Museum in this post are straight off the page - and, although drawn, they are not quite finished in terms of the colouration of the trees and vegetation which still needs to be completed.  Basically the edges are a lacking a bit of colour.

The Edwardian Garden

Geffreye Museum Gardens April 2012
Geffreye Museum Gardens - April 2012
20th Century Period Garden (Edwardian 1900 -1914) in foreground
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils on Arches HP, 9" x 12"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell - all rights reserved
From the cafe I could see all the way down the gardens at the rear - but the one which was closest to me was the 20th century - Edwardian Garden.  I can see from the photos that I'll have to go back next month when the roses over the pergola should be in flower and the wisteria better developed.  I discovered that wisteria is very difficult to capture in coloured pencils - and the watercolourists were having the same problem

Click the next link (at the end of the quote) to see the list of plants in the garden.
This garden depicts a scheme featuring mixed borders full of herbaceous and traditional cottage garden plants, showing the influence of both Gertrude Jekyll and the garden designers and architects working with Arts and Crafts motifs. A pergola covered with wisteria and roses marks the entrance to this space.
Geffreye Museum: 20th century - Edwardian Garden
That funny dark pyramid structure in the middle is a Pelargonium Pyramid which is completely bare at the moment.  I spotted all the pelargoniums in the Victorian Greenhouse ready to plant into the structure.

The Herb Garden

Geffreye Museum Herb Garden - April 2012
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Large Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell - all rights reserved
The Herb Garden is a walled Garden with a beds devoted to different aspects of a Herb Garden.

There are beds for cosmetic, medicinal, culinary, household, aromatic and dye plants.Geffreye Museum - Herb Garden
Hoxton used to be an area of market gardens and nurseries at the time the almshouses were built.
Hoxton, just across Kingsland Road in the parish of Shoreditch, was home to a group of extremely influential nurseries in the 17th and 18th centuries.Geffreye Museum
About the Geffreye Museum

Geffreye Museum - April 2012
The Geffreye Museum is located in almshouses which were in built in 1714 by The Worshipful Company of Ironmongers with a bequest from Sir Robert Geffrye, twice Master of the Company and former Lord Mayor of London.  The almshouses provided a home for c.50 pensioners for almost two hundred years.

Over time Hoxton became one of the most overcrowded and deprived areas of London and the Company decided to move the almshouses to better location.  The premises and the open space were initially sold to the Peabody Trust and afterwards to the London County Council - with a view to both preserving the buildings but also access to one of the few open areas of green space in the area.

The almshouses became a furniture museum - the local area being a centre for furniture-making.

The buildings are now Grade 1 Listed and the furniture museum has become a museum of the domestic home and garden.

Visiting the Geffreye Museum

Although I've visited the Geffreye Museum before it's always been by car at times when the Hackney parking wardens aren't stalking the streets!

I'd not realised before how easy and quick it now is to reach the Museum via public transport from where I live.  The opening of the new Hoxton Station and the connection of the East London Line to the rest of the London Overground network now makes it much easier to visit from places across London.  This is a map (pdf file) of the London Overground Network and all the stations across London which can now be used to reach Hoxton.

I shall certainly now visit more often - because of the plants in the gardens at the rear and the scope for peaceful sketching of gardens!


The Ironmongers Company and the Almshouses

The Geffreye Museum

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog and your lovely sketches. Very pretty soft yet somehow vibrant colors!


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