The Tradescants were 17th century gardeners who introduced many new plants to England. More than 160 varieties of fruit were listed amongst the inventory of plants grown at the Tradescants nursery in Lambeth, many of which are illustrated in the Orchard. The Garden Museum invited 40 of the world's leading botanical artists to paint watercolours of fruit in response to the Orchard.
Botanical artist Sue Baker has always been interested in plants and gardens and fascinated by the fruits of Mespilus germanica. The medlar tree has a delicate white flower in spring and in autumn produces a strange looking fruit that softens or ‘blets’ to ripeness. The fruit has both an interesting look and taste – and makes the most delicious jelly.