Five Minutes Peace: a garden to sit in, a poem to read, and a prompt to write to … No 3. (Find out more about what this is all about here.)
When I first arrived at the Geffrye Museum, I thought that the ‘garden’ was the stretch of grass at the front. Nice, I thought, but not that inspiring. And then I walked round the back.
This is a museum of the home, situated a bit poignantly in former Almshouses, and just as the rooms inside take you from century to century, so there are a series of historically researched garden rooms outside. It was fascinating to wander through from the 16th century to the 18th century via the 17th century and back again.
But never dry. All the senses are engaged such as when you walk past a bed dripping with hyacinths…
And can’t quite resist touching the coloured knot garden to see if the textures are as subtle… Or you would, of course, if you weren’t as well behaved as me…
It’s a constant feeling of exploration and yet a sanctuary too.
Given the weather, it was also lovely to see the indoor garden reading room. I could have stayed in this spot for weeks.
Another garden magazine? Or a book on historic interiors? Yes please…
In fact, the whole garden is so peaceful that’s it is hard not to imagine you are well away in the country..
Until a train comes by to remind you of just where you are!
As well as the museum, there are two almshouse rooms furnished as they would have been for residents. These are open at certain times of the day, and well worth a visit. I couldn’t help thinking of a governess like Jane Eyre living here, if she hadn’t of course married Rochester. A comfortable attic at least…
So here’s Lisa Creagh, an artist who has a show at the Little Black Gallery for the Chelsea Fringe, reading an extract from Jane Eyre. That’s Lily, her baby, you can hear in the background… because she’s named after a flower, it seemed appropriate to keep her in!
And below is the view from ‘Jane’s’ room. Your creative writing prompt for today is to write about a garden seen from a window… here’s a poem by Emily Dickinson for inspiration.
Tree in Winter
Not at Home to Callers
Says the Naked Tree –
Bonnet due in April –
Wishing you Good Day –
Please note, Lisa and I will be in conversation about flowers, gardens, art, writing and creativity at the Little Black Gallery on Friday 24th May. Places are free but limited so do nab one if you are interested in coming by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there! More details here.