A snapshot of key brand, communication, and cultural insights from Milan Design Week.
GROW London has firmly established itself as the go-to garden fair for those seeking contemporary style for their outside space. Chic, cool and modern, the third edition of the capital’s first and only contemporary gardening show returned to Hampstead Heath from 24-26 June. The three-day event kicked off with a Garden Party Charity Preview in partnership with Maggie’s, the charity which offers free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends.
GROW London presented an impressive and carefully chosen selection of over 100 exhibitors for 2016, showcasing fresh gardening ideas, modern accessories, contemporary outdoor furniture, and planters for all types of gardens.
Contemporary garden furniture from exhibitors such as Verdon Grey and Tanti Design, exquisite decorative Indian tents from Raj Tents and vintage accessories from Garden Brocante and Lime Avenue Antiques complemented the stunning antique mirrors and planters from Aldgate Home and Architectural Heritage. Those without outside space were drawn to the many creative ideas for indoor gardeners, from terrariums to air plants to herb gardens, while N1 & W6 Garden Centres lavishly styled their stands with all manner of plants and products for outdoor living. Meanwhile Sneeboer and Niwaki both offered beautifully designed garden tools that make pruning a pleasure.
New for 2016 were two exciting feature sections designed to appeal to foodies and design-lovers alike. GROW Gourmet was dedicated to artisan food and drink producers, with exhibitors like Seedlip who presented the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, to the London Borough of Jam who specialise in small batch jam and brought a mini replica of its east London shop to the show. The other popular new section was GROW Living – a sourcebook for design-led contemporary living with a carefully curated collection of one-off products and limited editions from favourite and emerging designers, modern gardeners and craft makers, like This Way to the Circus’ collection of colourful hand-painted plant pots and Geo Fleur’s stylish geometric indoor terrariums and leather, brass and copper hanging planters.
For horticultural enthusiasts, a collection of top nurseries offered rare and unusual plants that simply can’t be found in the local garden centre, including Hortus Loci, Pennard Plants and Glendon Plant Nursery. Plants for shady spaces, ornamental grasses, succulents and herbs – all perfect for the smaller urban garden – were presented together with conifers from Lime Cross Nursery, herbs from Hooks Green Herbs and cottage garden plants from Swallowfields Nursery.
GROW London is known for its inspiring and imaginative feature gardens, and Francesca Murrell made a triumphant return this year with the Beach Retreat, a spectacular new design in collaboration with Emma Page. Outside the fair’s entrance, Chelsea medal winner Sophie Walker created a show-stopping conceptual installation, Incidental Garden, which explored the process of time and continuity to tell an abstract story. Matthew Wilson, Creative Director of Clifton Nurseries, designed a Serenity Garden Spa in collaboration with Omorovicza while the Flower Union’s feature garden promoted British blooms and florists with a floral bed.
GROW London again offered its highly popular programme of free workshops, demonstrations and talks by garden experts, including plant hunter Tom Hart Dyke, the gardening editor of the Evening Standard’s Homes & Property Pattie Barron, and “Queen of Herbs” Jekka McVicar all packed with ideas on how to transform an outside space, no matter how large or small.