The RHS Urban Garden Show brought the outdoors in at its final event in October 2018 (27-28). Featuring endless ideas for transforming even the smallest urban corners, the show was the perfect place to browse and buy an exotic assortment of plants for city abodes – whether for a flat, balcony, small courtyard or window box.
Expert growers from across the UK showcased the very best tropical houseplants, seasonal blooms and spring flowering bulbs. Peckham’s popular Green Rooms Market relocated to Westminster for the show bringing London’s top botanical businesses selling cacti and succulents, terrariums, macramé and even 3D-printed pots.
George Farmer wowed visitors with the next indoor gardening trend, aquascaping, with a display of underwater gardening at the show. George also ran workshops where visitors learnt how to create their own submerged miniature landscapes using aquatic plants.
Visitors interested in the more unusual found a 'UV Garden' filled with glowing blooms and florescent foliage created by garden designer Rob Stacewicz.
There was also an evocative floral design from RHS resident floral artist Zita Elze, exploring urban sustainability, while floral designer Paul Malget worked with RHS Wisley to create a breath-taking display of suspended foliage and autumn colour.
Multi-sensory design agency Bompas & Parr collaborated with the RHS to create a unique visitor experience called ‘Library of Shadows - A Garden of Fear’. This interactive installation celebrated the lesser-known world of nocturnal pollinators and their importance to our gardens. Visitors wore night-vision goggles as they walked through a pitch-black garden full of fluttering pollinators, lush foliage and an eerie soundscape.
Talks and workshops
A host of creative talks and workshops that helped everyone get to grips with urban gardening ran throughout the show. Houseplant expert Anne Swithinbank explained how to care for tropical houseplants while Alys Fowler showed visitors how to make homemade Christmas gifts from the garden. For a contemporary twist in landscaping, Rob Dwiar looked into the virtual world and explained horticulture's key role in computer game design.
There were a variety of workshops throughout the show where visitors could put their green fingers to the test and take home some botanical inspiration, these included:
- Landscape Arrangement Workshop by floral artist Paul Malget
- Tinyjohn Terrarium Workshop by London Terrariums
- Create Your Own Miniature Aquascape by George Farmer Studios
- Soilless Growing Workshop by Rootlabs
- Botanical Tie Dye Silk Workshop by London Permaculture
- Make Your Own Kimchi by food expert Naomi Devlin
- Tasty Garden Talk with Tasters by Juliet Sargeant
- Explore the Urban Trees of SW1 with the Museum of Walking
- Create Your Own Orchid Jarden by Het Groenlab
The RHS Late
Visitors previewed the show at the RHS Late on Friday 26 October (5pm-9pm). Guests enjoyed an exclusive first look at the show with free workshops, a live DJ, vegan street food and botanical cocktails. The free workshops included miniature floral makeovers for eyebrows and beards, flower crowns and pumpkin carving, and how to make cacti and succulent cupcakes.
Valspar, sponsors of the ‘UV Garden’, provided Pantone® Color of the Year 2018 Ultra Violet to decorate this project. Ultra Violet symbolises experimentation and self-expression, giving it the ability to immediately transform any space by adding an element of excitement and wonder.
See who exhibited at the show
Discover the RHS Urban Garden Show awards