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View of the John Madejski Garden at the V

View of the John Madejski Garden at the V&A, 2005.

John Madejski gave the V&A £2 million to create a new garden at the heart of the Museum. The John Madejski Garden opened on 5 July 2005 and is a central part of the V&A's FuturePlan.

Kim Wilkie's new design has transformed the garden. The Italianate courtyard is now a stylish, elegant place to meet and provides a central point from which to explore the museum. The main feature is a stone-paved oval, with surrounding steps and water jets, which can be filled with water as a reflecting pool or drained  for displays.

Grass lawns and York stone paving surround the central oval. Glass planters contain lemon trees in summer and will contain clipped hollies in winter. The courtyard walls have been softened by plantings of blue hydrangeas as well as Salvia 'Enigma' and Dahlia 'David Howard'. The salvias will be an intense blue and the dahlias have orange flowers with dark purple/bronze foliage. There will be seasonal displays of plants such as echium, foxtails, irises, lilies and spring bulbs.

The design allows the garden to be used both as a simple courtyard garden and as a stage set for display, theatre, parties and events. The terraces on the south side are designed to accommodate cafés and bars.

View of the John Madejski Garden at night.

View of the John Madejski Garden at night.

At night the garden is dramatically transformed. The lighting has been specially created for the garden by Patrick Woodroffe, lighting designer for the Rolling Stones.

The designer, Kim Wilkie, is a landscape architect, urban designer and environmental planner. His practice combines the restoration of historic landscapes with radical new designs and the regeneration of cities springing from their individual character and identity.  Recent projects include new designs for Hyde Park Corner, the restoration of the Villa La Pietra, Florence, for New York University and the strategic masterplan for the world heritage site at the Solovetski Archipelago, Russia.

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Gardener's One Line a Day Diary

Gardener's One Line a Day Diary

A Five-Year hardcover journal of your garden memories. This elegant journal invites gardeners to record favorite gardening moments and musings every d…

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Discover South Kensington

Discover South Kensington brings together the Victoria and Albert Museum and the other leading cultural and educational organisations to promote innovation and learning. South Kensington is the home of science, arts and inspiration. Discovery is at the core of what happens here and there is so much to explore every day.

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Event - Paradise and Plenty: A Rothschild Family Garden

Wed 24 February 2016 15:30–16:30

The productive garden at Lord Rothschild's private house, Eythrope in Buckinghamshire, is legendary for the excellence of the gardening, and as a haven for traditional techniques that might otherwise be lost.

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