TAYLORS BULBS MAKE IT 30 GOLD MEDALS AT THE 2023 CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW

Pictured: Adam Taylor. Rebecca Brookhouse, Charlotte Daubney, Sam Buffin and Ian Clark
Pictured: Adam Taylor. Rebecca Brookhouse, Charlotte Daubney, Sam Buffin and Ian Clark
Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal

Huge congratulations to Taylors Bulbs, our partners in the Bulbs for London initiative! The Taylors team were out in force at the Chelsea Flower Show and were presented with their 30th Gold Medal. Their display of over 1100 flowers was a rare sight, with a diverse range of 38 varieties on show. Thanks to Taylors many of these varieties have been seen in London flowering across our public parks and gardens – Click here for Spring pictures of some of the many sites which benefitted from the bulbs in 2022.



FANNY WILKINSON BLUE PLAQUE


Fanny Wilkinson
Our thanks to Bodleian Library for permission to reproduce this drawing


Fanny Wilkinson Plaque

We're delighted to announce that Fanny Wilkinson has been awarded a blue plaque by English Heritage.

Fanny was the first woman landscape architect in England and was employed by the MPGA from 1884 to 1904, during which time she created over 75 public gardens in London.

The plaque was erected on 7 June 2022 at her first Bloomsbury home, where she also worked, at 239/241 Shaftsbury Avenue, recently renamed Princes Circus

The unveiling of the plaque, which was organised jointly by the MPGA and English Heritage, was carried out by Rachel de Thame, writer, gardener and television presenter. Also involved in the event were Rebecca Preston of English Heritage, Wesley Kerr OBE, MPGA Vice President, Trustee of the Royal Parks, freelance broadcaster, writer and journalist, as well as Jeanie Northover, Fanny's great great niece, representing the Wilkinson family.

Fanny Wilkinson and the Blue Plaque were the subject of a couple of interesting articles.

Click here to view 'Blazing a Trail', an article about Fanny written by Jodie Jones, journalist and MPGA Committee member. This feature appeared in the GARDEN DESIGN JOURNAL of July 2022 and was accompanied by pictures of Fanny's gardens.

Click here to view Ian Morton's article in the January 2023 edition of COUNTRY LIFE, with accompanying pictures of Myatt's Fields Park and Paddington Street Gardens which were transformed by Fanny.


Many of Fanny's gardens are still enjoyed today, here are two of them

Paddington St. Gardens LB Westminster
Paddington St. Gardens LB Westminster
De Beauvoir Square LBHackney
De Beauvoir Square LBHackney


LONDON OPEN GARDENS WEEKEND

In 2023 the MPGA was delighted once again to be one of the sponsors of this very special event in which over 100 gardens participated. To find out more about London in Bloom visit their website

After the pandemic, it was wonderful be able to visit some of London's private and secret gardens which are not usually open to the public. There were also guided walks, including a walk in Bloomsbury, one at St George's Garden and another in St Giles Churchyard. Here are just two of the many gardens which were open to visit:

Inner Temple Garden EC4
Inner Temple Garden EC4
Walworth Garden SE17
Walworth Garden SE17


LONDON IN BLOOM

London in Bloom is a wonderful initiative with which the MPGA have been involved for over 30 years. Full details on their website.We have very similar aims but our main objective is to make London a more pleasant and greener place to live and visit.

Each year we make a contribution towards their running costs as well as sponsoring two of their highly prized awards.

Chiswick House
Chiswick House LB Hounslow Winners of the MPGA sponsored "London in Bloom Heritage Park of the Year Award" in 2019 for the second year running.
Strawberry Hill House Richmond
London in Bloom Gold Award 2019
Strawberry Hill House Richmond
London in Bloom Gold Award 2019

Congratulations to London in Bloom winners 2021

Victoria Park
Victoria Park, Bethnal Green
Brockwell Park
Brockwell Park, Lambeth


GOOGLE ARTS AND CULTURE – GARDENS UNITED



Launched in July 2021, the Google Arts and Culture project is a collaboration to celebrate the unique, beautiful gardens of the UK, from royal palaces to local allotments.

We were delighted to take part and here's the link to the MPGA's section

Do check out Gardens United – an amazing project for us to be part of.

The MPGA section can also be accessed near the top of the home page under 'and 26 more partners'.

Arlington Square, LB Islington
Arlington Square, LB Islington



RECENT ARCHIVE DISCOVERY!




We've recently been sent a Play Bill which a member came across on Ebay advertising an evening back in May 1894 which a Bayswater amateur dramatics group put on for the benefit of the MPGA!

It's extraordinary that this fragile 'flyer' has survived for well over a hundred years.

In the 1895 MPGA Annual Report we read that Colonel Basevi, whose daughter performed in the production, gave the proceeds of the evening to the MPGA. Details appear in the 'donations' section of the accounts.

It's the first time we've seen funds being raised for the MPGA in this novel way - is anyone up for a repeat performance?!

Built in 1863 and initially called the Victoria Hall, the building is now known as the Twentieth Century Theatre and Archer Street Bayswater is part of Westbourne Grove.




LONDON'S LOST DRINKING FOUNTAINS



Back in the early days of the Charity Lord Meath, our Chairman at the time, would approach MPGA members asking for donations to finance drinking fountains in specific parks, squares and churchyard gardens across London.

When we delved into our archives we came up with Lord Meath's list of around forty fountains and their sponsors. Many of these ornate Victorian fountains have been lost over the years but miraculously some still survive, like the one erected at Christchurch Gardens, Blackfriars in 1900. Recently we also gave a grant to St Peters Walworth for planting around the fountain which was donated in 1895 and both can be seen below. Unfortunately neither of these fountains are currently in working order.

However, with the drive to address single plastic bottle pollution, the question of refurbishing the drinking fountains in London has come to the fore. So far only one or two London Borough have responded but we are hoping more will follow. Recently the Heritage of London Trust (HOLT) has restored the fountain opposite St James Bermondsey. A second fountain at Stepney Green in Tower Hamlets is also going to be reinstated to full working order – we've also heard that there may be a third in the pipeline.

As well as the MPGA another Victorian organisation, the Metropolitan Drinking Fountains & Cattle Troughs Association, were also funding new decorative fountains across London around the same time.

Follow Lost Drinking Fountains of London

St. Peters Church Walworth, LB Southwark
St. Peters Church Walworth, LB Southwark
Walworth Garden SE17
Christchurch Gardens, Blackfirars. Picture courtesy Marc Owen

Discover the story of the Wallace Fountain now residing at Hartford House in London. Researched and presented by Suzanne Higgott, Curator of Glass, Limoges Painted Enamels, Earthenware and Early Furniture at the Wallace Collection.