Planting Words at Kew Gardens 2011

In the spring of 2011, I worked with the printmaker and book artist, Frances Kiernan, on a project which led to planting a ‘poetry garden’ round the Temple of the Imagination at Kew Gardens.

We worked with mainly Asian students from around London, first to explore the history and culture of Kew Palace and then to create books, poems and art works around the experience. This included a wonderful session in which we each had a ‘wish for the world’ and then created designs and lettering by embossing the words onto thin copper.

We then each decorated a terracotta pot and planted a seed in it which carried our ‘wish for the world’. When the seeds had germinated, we gathered together again and planted them out. At the same time, we attached the copper band, carrying our words and pictures, around the bottom of the Temple.

This was an extraordinary project and one that Frances and I would be keen to repeat with other groups.


Mohammed and his penguin.

Some of the beautiful books we made.

The girls celebrate their genius!