When I am Queen

RHS London - I wonder what lies within?

When I am Queen, I will sit in my stately chamber and demand books be brought to me by the dozen, served on golden platters. I had this fantasy in my mind when I visited the RHS Lindley Library recently.

I'd been wanting to visit for a while as there's several strands of research which couldn't be satisfied by my usual sources of information. I had to go to London last week, so here was the excuse I needed to spend a few hours in every garden book lover's idea of heaven. It's so heavenly I'd like to live there.

The ground floor has the reception plus a general library stuffed with books and every garden publication imaginable. However my pre-visit enquiries showed I would need to visit the research archives in the basement instead, where an appointment had been made for me. Beforehand, the good folk of the library would see what they could find in the archives to meet my needs.

When I got there I had to lock away my coat and bag, then pick up my day pass to allow me into the inner sanctum below. I was shown to my table with a large pile of books waiting for my perusal. How civilised is that? The only downside was how LOUD my scratchy pencil was as I made my notes. The room was so quiet, I was certain I was disturbing my fellow researchers. Next time I'll ensure I have a softer one to go with my notebook.

Though of course when I'm Queen I'll probably have someone to take notes for me. That doesn't quite seem so much fun as my visit was last week.

Update 25th March: Just found out Veg Plotting's a featured blog this month on the RHS Grow Your Own website, so here's a big welcome to anyone who's arrived from over there :)


  1. That sounds blissful. There is something so serious and focussing about visiting a library for research. It's a million times better than foraging around the internet.


  2. Having it all waiting for you is such a time-saver! What luxury. Now you just need someone to sharpen your pencil and peel the grapes.

  3. how lovely to be close enough to visit such a library! bet it has a wonderful scent of 'book'.

  4. Tis the holy of holies isn't it.
    I've been in there once only and it was like I was privleged to even breathe.
    Had to laugh at the thought of you with your scratchy pencil!

  5. onebeanrow - it was most blissful and most productive :)

    Helen - I know it's part of the service but it made me feel really special even without the grapes!

    Petoskystone - There's a fantastic scent of 'book'. What I didn't tell you was there was a lot of scurrying around getting precious tomes ready for an exhibition about women in horticulture. There were lots of precious items getting an airing, including some which needed to recline on special cushions!

    Robert - I had difficulty in suppressing my giggles when I was there ;)

  6. Oh, that really does sound like heaven - so civilised to have the books waiting for you! I'm sure you'll make a marvellous Queen, though I think you should carry on taking your own notes...

  7. Can you ever have too many gardening books?

    BTW, it was nice to see you over at RHS too, and congratulations on your guest post over at the BBC.

  8. Patrick - good to see you over here :) And no, you can't have too many gardening books as the piles of them at my feet as I write this can testify!

  9. Janet - sorry to have left you out! :( Yep, I'm with you on making my own notes - it helps to get the stuff embedded into my brain cells. Perhaps I'll just have them feeding me more grapes instead ;)


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