I had to giggle to myself last Friday as Ruthie from Design Soda and I made our way back to Victoria station having visited the first Urban Garden Show London. Instead of dashing from pub to pub as I would have previously done on a Friday evening, tucked in my arms instead was an olive tree. An olive tree with a curly trunk no less. Because it’s that time of life when things like pretty curly trunks become important and spending money on something to sit outside your front door is more important than spending money on booze. What’s HAPPENED to me?!
Held at the prestigious Lindley Hall (where I had to take a moment to appreciate the stunning herringbone parquet floor), the event produced by the RHS in collaboration with Cityscapes was designed to encourage all Londoners to bring some greenery into their lives regardless of how small a space they may be inhabiting. The tiniest cacti, even smaller than my fingers, would have been perfect for my first studio flat in Earls Court which didn’t even have enough room for an oven.
From macrame hangers to botanical jewellery, there was creative inspiration at every turn. We tried our hands at making a succulent plant picture frame with Blueleaf Plants which felt very therapeutic and sampled divine non-alocholic floral and plant themed distilled water from Seedlip for whom working with and cultivating the land has been in the family for 300 years.
It was also a complete privilege to have a tour of the historic Lindley Library from one of the curators and learn about some of the original ground-breaking gardeners as well as seeing how gardening and specifically the role of house plants has evolved throughout the centuries. Once considered a danger to health and well-being for fear they would compete with the limited air quality in cramped and dangerous living, thankfully for all of us that consideration was proven to be unfounded as the years went by and the health benefits of being surrounded by plants came to the fore instead.
After the tour we made our way back up to the main hall where the Friday night late event was in full swing with DJs creating a laid-back vibe and food laid on from the likes of SpiceBox and Vegan Sweet Tooth. Grabbing some food we plonked ourselves down for a natter before exploring the venue further and in my case doing some home plant shopping. Alongside the olive tree which still needs to be positioned by the front door (next on my DIY list: painting a wooden planter!), I also bought this beautiful cactus complete in stylish matt gold pot from Grace and Thorn which now takes pride of place in our hallway.
This may have been the first event from the RHS aimed at urban gardening but they plan to return in 2017 with another event aimed at us city dwellers who want to bring something stylish and beautiful into our homes whether we have a garden or a windowsill. If you are space-restricted or worried you don’t know how to care for a plant, cacti and succulents will definitely be your new best friends. I’ve got 4 on the got at the moment and so far, so good.
Thank you to the RHS for inviting me to attend the show. All words, opinions and images are my own unless otherwise stated.
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