Gardening at the Queen’s Gallery

Thoughts and musings

Gardening at the Queen’s Gallery

Lewis | March 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

Starting today (Friday, March 20th) and running all the way until mid-October, the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace will be holding a new exhibition called ‘Painting Paradise: The Art of the Garden’, giving the public a chance to see paintings and objects from the royal collection, some of them for the first time. If you’re a fan of gardening, art, or just fancy a trip to the Palace, do go along. I knew this exhibit was coming up, but after reading more about it, I think I’ll use one of my holiday days to take a peek myself!

There is a wide range of pieces going on display. Of course, there are numerous obligatory paintings, synonymous with any art gallery. One is a watercolour by Queen Victoria’s drawing teacher, which shows her favourite home in East Cowes, on the Isle of Wight. Another is a painting of part of a garden at Balmoral by Queen Alexandra, which may sit alongside another depicting part of Windsor Castle, designed by Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of Queen Charlotte. There’s even a painting with a political message; click here to see The Guardian for more details, but in a nutshell, a swipe was taken at King Louis XIV of France!

Perhaps the most intriguing, though, is a gardening manual belonging to King Henry VIII himself. Written entirely in Latin, Ruralia Commoda features a whole host of gardening tips for a man who is so often depicted as a harsh and egotistical monarch. It seems he had a gentler, horticultural side! The King acquired it from his chaplain, the manual’s previous owner, and it proves to be an interesting insight into gardening from what feels like eons ago! Originating from the 14th Century, the strangest piece of advice it offers is that cucumbers will tremble during thunderstorms! It goes on to offer gardening tips regarding turf seats, sweet-scented herbs, high walls for security and the recommended size of a royal garden. This is only naming a few; click on the link above to check out more.

So there you have it. The exhibit promises to be quite the attraction. As mentioned, it is running until October, so you have plenty of time to check it out for yourself. I’ll see you there!