Conscious Consumerism

Gardens for a Changing World

Did you know...

  • The native South American planting of orchids, palms and bromeliads is deliberately strewn with dead leaves and broken stems to create a realistic representation of the rain-forest environment
  • The designer has used off-cuts of tree branches placed in the ground to create an impression of tree roots as they would appear in the rain-forest. The result is  a devastated landscape where the rain-forest has been razed to the ground and only tree stumps remain
  • In the abattoir meat hooks, blood and a meat saw, especially made for the garden, send a chilling message and stark realisation about the aggressive nature of the meat production industry
  • The final section of the garden represents hope and choice. A dead tree trunk and a bottle of oxygen is buried into the desert-like landscape on one side of a metal gate. On the other side, a single sapling is emerging from the barren landscape suggesting that it may not be too late to repair the environment

About the garden

Conscious Consumerism draws our attention to the effects of the animal agriculture industry, the leading cause of global deforestation. Illustrating a timeline, the garden begins with a scene of ‘Rainforest Harmony’, before leading to ‘Deforestation’, ‘Abattoir’ and ‘Desertification’.

The visitor is lured in by the appeal of a lush tropical rainforest with its banana plants, Chilean rhubarb and orchids, but as the path continues, a darker, more sinister plot unfolds. Discomforting and thought-provoking props such as meat hooks and bone-cutting machinery capture the viewer’s attention, while highlighting the detrimental impact the meat industry has on our planet.

At journey’s end, a lone, dead tree rises from the arid, barren ground and an empty bottle of oxygen lies half-buried in the sand.

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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.