Botanic York

Since opening in 2018, Botanic has become York’s go-to place for healthy, exotic and unusual house plants. Their ethos is simple – to help people greenify their homes with beautiful and healthy plants and expert advice to keep their indoor jungles thriving.

Their Houseplant Studio design, An Atlas of Houseplants, will provide an immersive, educational experience, helping visitors to learn about the native environments of indoor plants and what their habitats can teach us about how to keep them healthy and happy in our homes.

Discover An Atlas of Houseplants

exterior of An Atlas of Houseplants Botanic York at RHS Chelsea 2024
RHS Silver Medal
abbi dixon and ruth webber

Owner Abbi made the shift from a globe-trotting career in banking and recruitment to the world of houseplants. Having grown up in the USA, Singapore and York, Abbi has spent time travelling and working in London, Thailand and Hong Kong.

After 15 years in banking and armed with a growing passion for horticulture, Abbi spotted an opportunity to own her own houseplant shop back home in York. Gardening runs deep in her family—she’s run open garden events at her property and the family business even received a commendation at Hampton Court in 2017! Abbi’s uncle is one of Thailand’s foremost architects and an accomplished classical pianist and singer – with a passion for garden design. He has created stunning landscapes, including an Italian village called Toscana in Khao Yao.

abbi botanic york owner standing outside shop building

Botanic York has become the city’s go-to place for healthy, exotic and unusual house plants:

“We love nothing more than enthusing people about houseplants and helping them with tips on how to care for, and expand, their collection.”

Constantly striving to provide interesting and coveted houseplants, the team take plant requests from customers and do their best to source these plants from the wide network of growers the shop has access to. They also host regular workshops and plant surgery events for their customers.

“We believe that plants enrich our daily lives (often without us even realising). They bring colour and vitality to our busy lives. They improve our air quality, reduce stress and boost productivity. They can aid relaxation but also cultivate community and conversation. Our team is delighted to share our plant passion and energy with customers locally and across the UK.”

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An Atlas of Houseplants
RHS Silver Medal Winner

Most plant species in our homes aren’t native to the UK. Botanic York’s exhibit aims to educate visitors on the importance of understanding plants’ natural habitats. This knowledge helps them thrive indoors.

Over the years, the houseplants we see most commonly today have been optimised to thrive indoors, whether that’s incidentally by nature or by human cultivation. But plants will always know where they originated from. That’s why it’s important that, as plant parents, we learn to understand more about our plants’ heritage and needs, to help them flourish in our homes.

Botanic York’s Flat Roof Studio at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show will be zoned into six areas to represent the continents, where plants native to these regions will be showcased.

This is Abbi’s debut at the Chelsea Flower Show alongside Creative Director and Stylist, Ruth Webber. Ruth’s influence has shaped the distinctive and chic interior design style of Bert & May’s York branch, known for its use of artisanal materials and reclaimed items.

Educational information will be displayed in each area for visitors to learn about the natural habitats of the plants including; ideal growth conditions, care requirements, their history in cultivation and their cultural significance in their countries of origin.

The interest in greening our interiors started way back in the 1700s, when elite city dwellers tuned into the benefits of indoor gardening. Citrus trees housed in orangeries and spring bulbs grown in pots were particularly popular and were a status symbol amongst the wealthy.

Fast-forward to the 1900s which saw collectors sourcing tropical and subtropical species from around the world including palms, orchids and fern varieties that sparked the Victorian Fern Craze. Exotic plants were taken from the British colonies and brought to England, prompting a collecting obsession among Victorians.

As we moved through the 50s, easy-going ivies, philodendrons, monsteras, spider plants and succulents became mid-century must-haves to bring the outdoors in. More and more of us were residing in places with little or no garden space and warmer homes provided the right environment for these varieties.

And now, largely thanks to #plantsofinstagram, accessibility, education and the known health benefits of houseplants – the revival is well and truly on.

“We hope that our design will provide unique insight and an increased awareness of where the houseplants we are so familiar with are from, how they came to be grown as houseplants, and what they mean to the people who share their habitats.”

RHS Chelsea Flower Show

21 – 25 May 2024

Meet the Designers

We know what a positive impact well designed spaces can have on quality of life, and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with designers who understand the extraordinary benefits of houseplants.

Meet the Designers

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