Discovery Zone

How your health and happiness gets a boost from gardening and plants and the 'green gym'


The interactive Discovery Zone returned to the Great Pavilion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. An area dedicated to science and education, the Discovery Zone took show-goers on an interactive journey to investigate the way in which our health, happiness and community is impacted by horticulture.

From the importance of beans and pulses to the best plants to live with, the Discovery Zone offered visitors the chance to explore a variety of scientific exhibits, including a special display by Coventry University on how to transform your garden into a ‘green gym’.

What’s On

Beans Beans from Capel Manor College

Beans, Beans

2016 is designated the International Year of the Pulse, and Capel Manor College created an exhibit to highlight their importance. Split into three sections, the exhibit explained the world’s reliance on pulses as well as the capacity for increased production.

University Coventry healthy garden exhibit

Healthy Gardens, Healthy Gardeners

Coventry University highlighted the physical impact of gardening on the body, showing that this undervalued form of exercise can offer an extremely beneficial work-out. Featuring a motion-capture suit performing typical gardening activities, Coventry University demonstrated the benefits of horticulture to improved health. 

Love Orchids - The Story of Phalaenopsis

Love Orchids – the Story of Phalaenopsis

Double H Nurseries offered a fascinating insight into this popular plant. A real eye opener, the nursery’s education area tackled the common misconceptions around orchids in the home, with an experienced team on hand giving expert advice.

The People's Plants from Sparsholt CollegePlant conservation through cultivation

Sparsholt College investigated our role in the work of Plant Heritage by showcasing the multiple opportunities to support it. Using plant material based on National Plant Collections and Plant Guardians from Hampshire and surrounding counties, the college highlighted the role of Plant Heritage and how we can all be involved.

Lifeworks Global Kitchen Garden Project

The Lifeworks Global Kitchen Garden Project

Tom Hoblyn's exhibit for Lifeworks Global demonstrated how the simple act of supplying seeds, Grifaid aqua filters and organic techniques can have a hugely positive impact on communities. Visitors learned how this process is helping communities become self-sufficient across the globe.

The Low Allergy Garden

The Low Allergy Garden

Love gardening but hate sneezing your way through the hedgerows? The Royal College of Pathologists had the answer with a garden full of flowering plants, trees and shrubs not associated with respiratory allergies in people. Experts were be on hand to provide guidance on which plants to use in gardens frequented by respiratory allergy sufferers. 

Other highlights in the Discovery Zone: 

  • The British Ecological Society explained how best to attract pollinators to gardens across the UK to tackle their globally declining numbers.
  • Scotts Miracle-Gro revealed their Urban School Garden. It featured a playground theme with a wide variety of edible plants alongside picture boards to convey the benefits of school growing.
  • Celebrating 125 years since the founding of the British Pteridological Society, the fern society’s display offered examples of successful combinations for dry, shady, damp and sunny conditions to ensure each visitor found the right fern to suit their surroundings. 

More information

Everything you need to know about this year's show, from plant trends and design ideas to star plants to buy, videos and podcasts.
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