Springtime is almost here!

Even though we’ve had a long, frosty winter, we’re excited for the Geffrye Gardens to re-open! In fact, we think that escaping into the Geffrye’s period gardens would be the best way to welcome in this new season. The gardens will be open this 30th of March! Even though our plants are just starting to blossom, here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect the garden to look like as spring turns into summer:


20th Century period garden with wisteria in full bloom

As far as out project goes, we’ve also got lots of great activities planned. Keep looking to this blog for updates and reminders of what will be going on at the Geffrye gardens. Our learning team has been working hard to come up with creative and fun ideas for the opening weeks.

The first date to keep in mind is April 11th! Catalina and Jue, our learning team, been testing out lots of ideas, including “Garden on a plate” where children will be able to create their own happy gardens on a plate to take home! Below is a picture of Jue’s ideal garden.

We hope you get to go out and enjoy the gardens!

For more on what’s going on at the Geffrye, check out the Geffrye Young People’s Facebook and Twitter pages:


What is it about Geffrye Museum’s gardens?

The Geffrye’s gardens contain the award-winning herb garden, which has more than 170 different herbs and includes plants traditionally associated with herb gardens, such as roses, honeysuckle and lilies; and period gardens, which showcase English urban garden types over the past 400 years.

But who is taking care of the garden now? UCL student Ping Ping and Liz interviewed one of Geffrye gardeners.


Name: Heather

From: Hackney

So Heather, how did you get into gardening?

Well, I started out as a florist and am now been  a gardener.

Can you tell me your favourite thing about gardens?

I really enjoy the changes of seasons, especially the coming of Spring

What’s your favourite part of working in the Geffrye’s gardens?

I like the feeling of soil; I don’t wear gloves when working as I love to feel the earth on my hands!

What are your favourite herbs and flowers?

I really like rosemary and lavender. As far as flowers, my favourites are roses, narcissi, daffodils

Can you give our readers a few tips about easy gardening for beginners or students?

I’d advise them to start out with plants in pots, herbs, flowers in season – they are all easy to start with!

The Geffrye’s herb and period gardens are open from 1 April to 31 October every year. Recently we went to the museum and have spotted some signs of the coming Spring in the gardens!


We discovered some Christmas rose between fallen leaves!


There were also some young sprouts popped out of soil!

We can’t wait the coming of Spring in Geffrye Museum’s garden!! Are you looking forward to Spring as well? What are you looking forward to seeing in gardens?

Curious about how this all comes together?


The collaboration between the Geffrye and the UCL Institute of Archaeology has given us students a great opportunity to get hands on experience on how an exhibition comes together. Hint: a lot of hard work! 🙂

How does it happen?

Our group is comprised of several mini-teams. They are: The operations team, communications team, learning resources team, and the content team. We meet regularly within our sub-teams, all together, and with Geffrye staff.

We’ve had classes on how to best communicate with our audience with museum professionals at the Institute of Archaeology and elsewhere, such as at the Geffrye and at the British Museum. Tons of meetings!



Below we have some pictures from our last panel meeting at the Geffrye. Last Friday we got together for the third time with museum staff to present our progress and goals. This last meeting was really exciting, because we’re so close to the opening of the gardens (April 1st)!

Presenting our work at the Geffrye

Presenting our work at the Geffrye

After the meeting

Theano and Ian

Theano and Ian

Hope you liked this peek behind-the scenes! Anything you’re itching to hear more about?

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New post soon, keep checking this page!


Welcome to Dig This! Gardening for Happiness and Well-Being! We are master’s degree students from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London working in collaboration with the Geffrye Museum of the Home on an exciting project about gardening and happiness in the urban home.

The Geffrye Museum in Hoxton, showcases urban living rooms from the English middle-class throughout the last 400 years. It is also home to spacious and peaceful period and herb gardens.  The project looks at well-being in the urban middle-class home gardens in London, exploring this place as an oasis where happiness, health, nature, and family come together throughout history.

                  20th century period garden - photography M Williams

This blog is a space for us to share with you our ideas, inspirations, tips and other fun things – all related to how gardening can improve our lives.  We will also update about the progress of our project – you’ll be able to see how it all comes together!

Name: Liz

From: Los Angeles

Studying: Art Conservation

Favourite thing about gardens: The peaceful atmosphere! Nothing better than a good book and a sunny garden for me.

Name: Ping Ping

From: Taipei, Taiwan

Studying: Cultural Heritage Studies

Favourite thing about gardens: Herbs! I love cooking with fresh herbs, which add so much flavour into food and make it irresistible!


    Ping Ping and Liz

Now, why don’t you tell us your favourite thing about gardens? Please share with us in the comment section below!

You can also tell us what you would like to hear more about by emailing us at: digthisblog@gmail.com.  We would love to hear from you!