National Gardening Week
National Gardening Week (11 - 17 April) was launched five years ago by the Royal Horticultural Society and since then has grown into the country’s biggest celebration of gardening.
Throughout our archive we have films that celebrate the colourfulness of gardens; many of these films are form the early 50s when colour film was becoming more accessible to amateur and professional filmmakers alike. This curated collection is a tour around the private gardens, public parks – known as ‘green islands’ - and horticultural celebrations at local fetes, celebrating London’s green fingers of the past 75 years.
An amateur film of floral colour in Haringey. The film begins by the clock tower on Crouch End Broadway, then moves through Hornsey Town Hall, Muswell Hill, Shepherd's Hill Gardens, Midhurst Gardens, Hornsey Parish Church, Priory Park and the Garden of Remembrance.
Beauty in the Borough
A portrait of the horticultural activity of the Romford Smallholder's Society. Formed in 1911, The Romford Smallholders and Allotments Society Ltd survives to this day, celebrating its centenary in 2011. One of the prizes seen at the Annual Show, the large shield was a gift to the society in 1911 from Sir John Bethel, the local Liberal MP, who had assisted in the original purchase of land for the society.
The Year's Activities 1949
Obviously the product of keen gardeners, this film compiles material shot throughout the year of the gardens of a suburban house on Tudor Drive in Cheam. It begins with spring and summertime views of the front garden and its plants including a cherry tree in blossom, daffodils, tulips and hyacinths.
A Film of the House and Garden at 17 Tudor Close, Cheam
A grand journey around the borough of Southgate taking in a number of places of significance. The borough's administrative centre featuring Broomfield Park’s flower gardens, Southgate’s Garden of Remembrance park and lakes, Broomfield House and conservatory, the children's playground, the tennis courts, bowling greens, the municipal running track, the model yacht pond, and the avenue of mature elms.
Southgate, Middlesex, England, in the Year 1950
The official opening ceremony of Hollywood Gardens is attended by the garden’s namesake Mr Alfred J.C. Hollywood. Tea and cakes are served to the guests, while many take the opportunity to explore the park and examine the flowers. A visit to the herb garden for the blind affords an opportunity for guests to feel the Braille nameplates.
Official Opening of Hollywood Gardens by Alfred J.C. Hollywood
A beautiful film made for London County Council about the London's parks and open spaces throughout the seasons. Patrick Abercrombie’s 'Greater London Plan' of 1944 advised on the protection of a green belt about London inhibiting urban sprawl into the countryside. His concept of 'green islands' also follows his call for 'standards of open space' recommending that there should be at least four acres of open space available for every one thousand inhabitants of a city.
An amateur film of London's colourful side is presented through visits to a number of its green spaces; exploring Kew Gardens, Broomfield Park and Golders Hill Park. The film ends with more horticultural displays, this time in the front gardens of North London's Edwardian suburbs (apparently the Highgate and Hampstead areas) with a final shot of the roundabout of Muswell Hill Broadway.
Colourful London No. 1
Children in a London garden help demolish an old air raid shelter before taking a spin in the wheelbarrow for their reward. It may be less glamorous than the other films in this collection but it is nonetheless a fascinating look at hard graft in the family garden.
In The Garden/Demolishing Air Raid Shelter