A Very Modern Problem

Gardens for a Changing World

Did you know...

  • Imitation plants are making their first appearance at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in the history of the show. In one half of the garden plastic blue agapanthus and grasses are woven among a manicured planting of the real article: Agapanthus 'Getty White', Verbena bonariensis and Erigeron karvinskianus
  • Plastic plants have been added to the planting scheme as they are core to the garden's message that elements of life represented on social media is fake, unrealistic and impossible to achieve
  • In the other half of the garden, a red table with chairs, plant pots painted by the designer's children, toys randomly placed on the lawn, and weedy borders with uncoordinated planting, represent ordinary life
  • A swing by Raw Studio suggests the dominance and isolation of social media. Yet the live plants in the scheme and the presence of a brass pergola shows that there is also a positive and supportive side to social media

About the garden

A Very Modern Problem provides a bold portrayal of the way social media can misrepresent the truth and create conflicting feelings of inspiration and inadequacy.

On one side the space is attractive and aspirational, but unachievable and impractical, representing the filtered reality we expose ourselves to online. A smartphone divides the space and on the opposite side is a disorganised, unremarkable reality.

Here, planting doesn’t conform to any particular scheme or order, and the arrangement of plants is sporadic and random. The clutter of a washing line, children’s toys and lots of weeds further reinforce the sense of the ordinary.

With thanks to London Stone, Loknan Architectural, Screen with Envy, Raw Studio, Adam Christopher Design, Blooming Artificial, Hortus Loci, Garsons Harrowden Turf and Perspex Distribution Ltd.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.