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Brief Published: 29 May 2019

Horticulture Cool: Chelsea Flower Show Brand Concepts

Ikea & Tom Dixon

The booming consumer interest in horticulture is catapulting floristry to new, genre-defying heights. As a result, London’s Chelsea Flower Show (CFS) – the world’s most famous flower and garden expo (May 21-25) – is transforming into a hotspot for profile-raising brand activations, regardless of any floral connection.

Floristry is shrugging off its old-fashioned image ­– as evidenced by more than seven million current uses of the hashtag #botanical on Instagram alone, and a growing suite of bio-influencers ‘coolifying the sector’. The horticultural halo trend is putting shows like CFS on the wider cultural map, exposing new brand opportunities. Notably, this year’s event welcomed 168,000 visitors (average age 55), while generating 80 hours of TV coverage and 1,328 online features (RHS, 2019).

  • Tom Dixon x Ikea: Blurring the lines between floristry and art, Design Research Studio (the London-based agency of British designer Tom Dixon) collaborated with Ikea on an urban farming installation. Promoting Ikea’s new range of indoor incubator-style tech, the two-level space housed 4,000+ plants and doubled as a lab showcasing growth-boosting LED lighting, aeroponic technology (automatically watering plant roots), and a robotic arm shaping a mushroom-growing sculpture.
  • Sketch’s Nature Takeover: Championing CFS, London venue Sketch deployed six installations across its dining rooms and bars in Mayfair, plus a façade adornment inspired by an Old Master’s painting, created by London florists Rebel Rebel. Sketch’s much-Instagrammed toilet pods had a verdant island of plants and drooping fabrics nestled between them, designed by British florist Carly Rogers.
  • Sloane Square Brands Turn CFS Collective: Sixty retailers in CFS’s affluent neighbouring vicinity of Sloane Square participated in floral design competition Chelsea in Bloom – producing stunning ‘Under the Sea’-themed exterior visual merchandising displays. Brands included fashion stores & Other Stories, Rag & Bone and Hackett, regal lingerie label Rigby & Peller, and jeweller Monica Vinader.

See also Biophilia-Boosted Store Design, VM Trend: Floristry Connection and The Greenery Opportunity.