Plants By There

Two-time RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winner, James is a London-based plant stylist and designer. With experience in creating large scale planting schemes for well-known brands, his botanical wisdom and love for enhancing spaces with plants has led him to creating his own business, Plants By There.

In his signature eclectic style, James’ 2024 Houseplant Studio, Verdant Visions, will be a colourful, surreal and retro space, inspired by all things 70s. James has teamed up with family history website Findmypast to create a 70s dreamscape for his third Houseplant Studio, brimming with vibrant colours, unique textures, and a touch of groovy nostalgia.
Discover Verdant Visions

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RHS Gold Medal

Dreaming of success at Chelsea Flower Show

James Whiting from Plants by There

With experience in garden design, fashion retail and promotion, James has worked with some of the UK’s most well-known and respected brands – helping them to re-imagine and enhance their workspaces with plants. His portfolio boasts notable installations for ITV, Selfridges, We Work and Bottega Veneta.

His work has also seen him being the lead stylist for brand activation and large corporate events for brands such as WWF and a well-known, sustainable deodorant brand.

A plant obsessive since a young age, it’s always been a dream of James’ to showcase his imaginative designs at Chelsea Flower Show – and this will be his fourth year!

“Storytelling with plants, interior design and music are my passion.”

A familiar face in the RHS Chelsea Houseplant Studio area, James’ previous success at the show has seen him win Gold and the coveted Best in Show award for his exhibitions The Green Room in 2021 and Planet Studio in 2022, both in collaboration with Malvern Garden Buildings.

Plants by There offers a bespoke plant design and installation, event styling and consultancy service – quite simply a one stop plant shop!

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Verdant VisionsRHS Gold Medal Winner

Verdant Visions invites you to timeslip to the lush and leafy 1970s – a place to rediscover the era’s magic and reconnect with houseplants from your youth as you explore the exhibit’s dreamscape.

Throughout the space you’ll be invited to interact with exaggerated versions of bedroom furniture – a bed, dressing table and seat – with vibrant, glossy 70s houseplants showcased in and around these objects to create a comforting and nostalgic sanctuary.

You’ll begin in the outdoor bedroom, where a bed seems to float on a botanical ‘sea’, spiriting you back to a time of peace and love. A voluminous fabric canopy floats atop posts draped in both textiles and flourishing decorative houseplants, including Chlorophytum, Calathea, Maranta and Syngonium.

Inside, get into your groove with a wall of sound covered in vibrant greenery, then remember playing records on repeat and belting out your favourite hits in front of the dressing table mirror into your hairbrush microphone.

Finally, you’ll exit through the retro disco bathroom, where memories of simpler times getting ready for a night out and singing pop classics in the shower come flooding back.

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This year, Findmypast has teamed up with James to help you unearth your own family stories and fond memories. A specially curated newspaper collection, exclusive to Chelsea Flower Show, has been put together by the team. Iconic moments clipped from the pages of Findmypast’s vast and colourful historical newspaper collection, charting events great and small that defined the decade – including past coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show – will feature in the Studio Pavilion, and is also available to view on their website.

“We’re delighted to support James’ spectacular Verdant Visions exhibit, which delivers all the disco-dancing, floral-wallpapered, glossy jungle nostalgia of the 70s. Plants have the power to transport us and offer a potent connection to the past and our family stories.”

Sarah Bush, Managing Director at Findmypast

James adds,

“Partnering with Findmypast to create this immersive space has opened doors to a wealth of intriguing information, and their extensive archive has enabled me to have real insight to this period and re-live moments from the decade of disco, flares and Spider Plants!

I am so thrilled to return to RHS Chelsea this year with another Houseplant Studio design. I’m focusing on my favourite era; the 1970s. Despite not having experienced it first hand, I have fond memories of the classic houseplants grown by my grandparents and my parents’ love of 70s music, which have all sparked my creative juices.”

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James will be working in collaboration with several suppliers that will be adding elements to enhance the design. Haws will provide colourful, handmade plant pots and watering cans. Statement lighting from Tala and vintage speakers from Audio Gold will help create an immersive experience for visitors. James will also showcase upcoming textile brand Weirdstock, who are supplying vibrant, retro textiles to dress the exhibit.

Bursting with light and colour, Verdant Visions has a comforting, nostalgic charm much needed in today’s world. Reflecting the resurgence of 70s design trends, vintage pieces mingle with lush houseplants to create a botanical wonderland.

“My main aim is to ensure that the fun and joy of gardening isn’t forgotten. I tell stories when designing with plants and always galvanise the public to push boundaries at home and create spaces that enhance their daily lives.”

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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