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Museum News

The Power of Plants

Bayleaf poppies scaled

Tussie mussies 1Discover the Power of Plants at Weald & Downland Living Museum this spring and summer as we explore the important role of herbs and plants through a series of events.

From Monday 27 May – Sunday 18 August, we will be hosting an exciting new exhibition in the Longport Gallery, looking at the history and creation of the Museum’s Historic Gardens, how they have developed over time and the work our Garden Team does in maintaining and interpreting them for visitors to explore. The exhibition will showcase the potential uses of plants, from culinary and medicinal herbs, to use in textiles and dyes, and also how the plants support the biodiversity and sustainability of our natural environment.

Gerards Herbal 1Gerards Herbal 2The exhibition will also include the Museum’s newly acquired copy of Gerard’s Herbal, a 17th century herbal book, which will be on display in the gallery. The book, which includes woodcut and herbarium samples, was kindly donated to the Museum’s library collection by Pearl O’Leary, who was a volunteer at the Museum for many years. This incredible artefact is an original 2nd edition from 1633, however the book requires some conservation work to stabilise it for the future and we are currently fundraising to undertake this important project. If you would like to donate to support this, you can text HERBAL to 70470 to donate £10 alternatively visit wealddown.co.uk/donate to find out more.

Exploring the Power of Plants further, on Thursday 20 June the Museum will be hosting a special evening talk hosted by local Sommelier Sam Fraser of Purchases Bar & Restaurant. Join Sam and a collection of guest speakers including Art Tukker, owner of Tinwood Wine Estate, Luke Condell, UK Brand Ambassador of Hendricks Gin, and Bridgette Ryan, Business Development Manager of Spirit of the South Downs Brandy, as they tell their stories from growth to glass and explore the modern-day uses of herbs and plants in beverages. There will also be an opportunity to sample some of their delicious products. Tickets for this exciting event are £35 per person and available via our website, click here to find out more.

Poppies and beesFinally, on 22 – 23 June, we invite you to invigorate your senses, detox from technology and join us for our Flower Power event. The weekend will include a number of demonstrations, talks and activities that uncover the history behind the use of plants and herbs in our diets and around our homes. Visitors will be able to discover more about everything from health and wellbeing benefits to language and colours. Find out more here.