The Glasshouse

This Houseplant Studio is inspired by the stories, hopes and hard work of women currently serving time in prison in the UK. The Glasshouse started working in disused glasshouses within the prison grounds of HMP East Sutton Park, training women to nurture and care for indoor plants and preparing them for future employment. As the women learn to grow and care for plants, they share their experiences, goals, and dreams. These dreams live and grow alongside the plants under glass.

Discover The Glasshouse Effect

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RHS Gold Medal
Photography by Diana Yule

Malvern Garden Buildings support Chelsea Flower Show’s first indoor garden designed and planted by women in prison

For the first time in the show’s history, women in prison will create an indoor garden in the ever-popular Houseplant Studio area. This exhibit showcases their stories of second chances through horticulture. The Glasshouse is a social enterprise providing horticultural training and employment to women in prison alongside resettlement support.

Andrew Peck, Managing Director of Malvern Garden Buildings, shares the inspiration behind the collaboration:

“We’re deeply moved by the way The Glasshouse harnesses the restorative power of indoor gardening to improve life chances.

womens hands holding plant in soil inside glasshouse

Photography by Diana Yule

The houseplants nurtured and styled by the women are more than just visually stunning, they symbolise hope, resilience, and new beginnings. The plants enrich the women’s lives and the people they’re shared with through their online store, shop in Cranbrook and installations in corporate and public spaces.

We’re thrilled to help shine a light on this unique programme that began in greenhouses and uses houseplants as a force for good to change and empower lives.”

the glasshouse kali hommerton stove

Founded by Kali Hamerton-Stove and Melissa Murdoch, The Glasshouse was established in February 2020 in the disused greenhouses of HMP East Sutton Park. Women in prison participate in an effective and integrated programme to achieve a horticulture qualification, gain employable skills and earn life-changing work experience.

Simply spending time with and nurturing plants has remarkable benefits for the women in the project. Being close to nature and greenery enhances productivity, reduces anxiety, oxygenates the air, and has positive influences in so many other ways.

The programme has a zero percent re-offending rate which is a testament to its effectiveness and the ongoing support provided around release. By ensuring the women have secure housing and employment, The Glasshouse is breaking the cycle of re-offending.

“Here we come Chelsea Flower Show 2024. The Glasshouse will have our first exhibit at the show thanks to our incredible sponsor Malvern Garden Buildings. We’re located on the Plateau, please drop by if you’re visiting.”

Keep up to date with The Glasshouse on Instagram

The Glasshouse EffectRHS Gold Medal Winner

The setting for this exhibit is a Victorian style glasshouse paying homage to the social enterprise’s roots.

Whilst at first glimpse the space may seem stark, visitors immediately sense the warmth, welcome and acceptance of the space once inside.

From the entrance, growth and expansion lay ahead with intimate living memories and moments strewn amongst the standard prison glasshouse paraphernalia. Signs of working life and feminine vitality lay about, from tea mugs to prison boots, hand-drawn illustrations to plant study books.

The plants increase in size and height as the visitor journeys through the glasshouse, growing and growing until crowding the exit, with leaves eager to escape the confines of the glasshouse and burst out into the world.

Daydreams of the future float overhead and echoes of the prison remind visitors of the reality of The Glasshouse’s purpose.

Support more second chances

The Glasshouse Effect soundscape (Full length version)

Hear the voices of women who have faced their darkest hours, found healing in houseplants and emerged stronger.

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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