A PLANTinum Jubilee!

On Sunday 5 June 2022, we held a free creative, cultural, community event at the SLBI to celebrate plants, the Platinum Jubilee and World Environment Day!

Thanks to National Lottery players, the event was funded by the Arts Council England ‘Let’s Create Jubilee Fund’.

People of all ages and backgrounds from our local community came together to enjoy a wide range of plant-related creative activities, offered by four local artists and SLBI volunteers.

  • Children and adults enjoyed making individual plant fibre sweatshirts, using a bicycle-powered sewing machine. Alice Holloway helped them make colourful sweatshirts with plant emblems.

  • Amanda Tuke ran two nature-writing workshops, taking inspiration from the plants, birds and insects in the SLBI garden, as well as the rare wild White Helleborine orchid found quietly growing at Buckingham Palace a few years ago. Some of the beautiful written pieces can be read here, including:

Stuck on my jeans, stuck on my cat, in the garden, in the woodland, one cannot escape them.
But when stung by nettle or in need of a boost, their secret magic surely will help you.
Whether you see them as friend or foe cleavers will always stick to you.

– Sonak Deerpalsing

  • Kerima Mohideen told plant-related stories around the garden, enjoyed by all.
  • Zoe Burt showed people how to make cyanotypes (sun prints), which will be sewn together to make a large textile commemorative Jubilee banner, to be hung at the SLBI for years to come.
  • SLBI volunteer, Jill Wilson, amazed visitors with our collection of herbarium (dried plant) specimens which were collected around the UK in 1952, the year Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne. She also led the making of a commemorative specimen.

Heritage photographs from the SLBI’s 112-year history were displayed, including a portrait of the young Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) which has been hanging in the SLBI building since May 1937, when it was published in the Illustrated London News.

No event at the SLBI would be complete without home-made cakes and a cup of tea, and Jubilee-themed cakes and ice cream were enjoyed by many whilst relaxing in the SLBI garden.

We are delighted that so many people chose to spend their Jubilee weekend at the SLBI, learning more about plants and sustainability, and connecting with other people of all ages and backgrounds in their local community. We hope that you will return for more of our events in the coming months.

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