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Discovery Garden

From 2022 to 2025 we are working with children, teachers and families from two local primary schools to co-develop a new Discovery Garden on the Museum grounds, creating access to child-friendly green spaces. 

Brand Discovery Garden Banner (1)

What is the Discovery Garden? 

Museum of the Home’s north garden was previously a shady thoroughfare for visitors accessing the Gardens Through Time.

We are now transforming this underused space into a Discovery Garden with families and schools. This three-year project will explore soil health, seasonal planting, biodiversity, sustainable food production, ecology, urban wildlife and healthy living - putting it in the context of global issues.

Why is the Discovery Garden needed?

The Museum sits in the heart of Hoxton in Hackney where there are many high and mid-rise flats with either none or minimal access to outside space. According to a 2020 ONS survey, 70% of households in the area surrounding the museum have no access to a private or shared garden.  

Local families and children underrepresented in our audiences; by offering them the space, we hope they will develop a strong sense of connection and ownership to the Museum, increasing access to arts and heritage in their area. In the middle of a built-up urban area, the garden will be sanctuary for visitors and participants to improve their mental and physical health.  

What are the project’s objectives and how will they be achieved?

The Discovery Garden will be realised through workshops with ecologists, garden designers and artists. The project will equip those involved with the resources, skills and language around climate change, food systems and the environment. 

The co-developed garden will be shaped by the teaching needs of primary school teachers, particularly relating to the KS2 curriculum and by creating a resource for wellbeing support needs for SEND children at schools. 

The children will act as ambassadors for the space presenting the garden and their knowledge to the museum, community and peers.  

We are pleased tp announce that we have been awarded the Wild Escape Fund to deliver further workshops. We want to thank UBS, the Art Fund, Museum Development London, the Lennox Hannay Charitable Trust, Kusuma Trust UK and the Loveday Charitable Trust for supporting this work.   

Recent updates

Hapa Zome 1

Hapa zome prints

October 2022 | In an introduction to the gardens, the children learnt about using botanical inks and dyes in the home. With fresh leaves, herbs and flowers from our gardens, they made their own natural prints on canvas. 


Soil collages

November to December 2022 | Following soil testing and with their findings, the school groups created a soil zine to advocate for the importance of soil protection in celebration of World Soil Day.

Soil Test 1

Soil health testing

November to December 2022 | At the end of 2022, the group focused on soil as a living and breathing ecosystem, checking the garden's soil health through pH testing and retention tests. 

A herb garden with a fountain

Sound mapping

November 2022 | Taking a walk through the Gardens, the children did a sound walk, mapping the various noises and documenting the sounds of nature, birds, transport, people and more.

Birdhouses Collated

Bird house facades

March 2023 | How can our gardens and local area be a welcoming habitat for urban wildlife? Inspired by local architecture the students designed bird house facades from recycled materials, encouraging Hackney’s community spaces to think about their potential as a home for wildlife.


Seedlings and sowing

March 2023 | With growing season kicking off in March, the children learnt about the life cycle of a plant. They made newspaper pots and sowed chickpea, pea, green bean, tomato, spinach and basil seeds. The children will look after them before planting them into the Discovery Garden later this year. 

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