South London Botanical Institute

Did you know there was a botanical garden in South London? Well neither did I, until it became one of the locations for the Ortelius Drew drawing group. We arrived and were welcomed by Roy Vikery, who gave us an introduction to the Institute and its history. The founder Allan Octavian Hume, watched over us from behind his portrait, taking pride of place above the fireplace. Hume had become an amateur ornithologist and horiticulturalist, whilst living in British India as a civil servant for the British Raj.  And, although he arrived in India as part of the colonial authority, he later became one of the founders of the Indian National Congress that eventually led to the Indian independence movement. India celebrated him by putting his portrait onto postage stamps in 1973. Hume started South London Botanical Institute in 1990, and since then the Institute has become a place to enjoy and study plants as well as contribute to an important part of English heritage. We were all overwhelmed by how many incredible things there were to draw. I took my pick from the herbarium and green house. Here are some of the drawings I made.