The Year of the Houseplant

In 2019, the RHS decided to shake things up by transforming the Malvern Garden Buildings at the Chelsea Flower Show into Houseplant Studios. 

While it was a nerve-wracking change for us as hosts, it turned out to be a stroke of genius.

The houseplant craze is stronger than ever. With the recent debut of the RHS Urban Show at the Depot Mayfield, celebrating houseplants and urban growing, the excitement surrounding houseplants is mounting. Even the Malvern Spring Festival has jumped on the bandwagon, with houseplants taking over the brand-new Kildare Hall thanks to the collaboration with Green Rooms Market.

Houseplants Takeover

Now, as we gear up for Chelsea Flower Show 2024, the Houseplant Studios are back and bigger than ever. Seven stunning indoor gardens are set to dazzle judges and visitors showcasing a vibrant mix of colours, textures, and plant inspiration. And call us biased, but we believe the Houseplant Studios can give the show and feature gardens a run for their gold medals!

The introduction of the houseplant studio category reflects the growing trend of greening up indoor spaces, especially relevant for renters and younger generations with little to no outdoor space to garden. Enthusiasm for indoor plants skyrocketed during lockdowns, and the houseplant community is poised for world domination thanks to the power of social media.

Evolution of the Collaboration 

For over a decade, British-made garden studios from Malvern Garden Buildings have graced the plateau in Ranelagh Gardens during the world-famous flower show.

Prior to 2021 the studios were used as Artisan Retreats to exhibit the work of botanically inspired artisans such as Rob Ryan, Nikki Tibbles, Cath Kidston, Orla Kiely and Lou Gardiner.

Since their launch, the Houseplant Studios have been pushing the perceptions of traditional gardening at Chelsea Flower Show. From drag queen DJ sets to guerrilla catwalks and teen activists protesting climate change, the studios have become a magnet for a young, hip crowd of gateway gardeners.


What to expect

This year, two-time gold medallist and best in show winner 2022, James Whiting is back with a 70’s-time slip exhibit sponsored by Findmypast. With his knack for turning maligned houseplants and forgotten foliage into showstoppers, James’ latest creation is sure to turn heads and spark the comeback of the spider plant.

We’re also making history in the Houseplant Studio area with the first indoor garden designed and planted by women in prison and recently released. Malvern Garden Buildings are sponsoring The Glasshouse Effect by The Glasshouse – a social enterprise offering second chances to women in prison through horticultural training and employment. They will share their stories through a leafy timeline punctuated by objects from prison life and beyond.

Plant inspiration galore

And that’s not all! The Little Botanical will share their journey to being peat-free, while Botanic York delves deep into houseplant habitats. The Plant Warehouse will offer tips and tricks through short-form video content, and In the Garden will combine antiques with container planting. The Plant Parlour and GrowTropicals will present a dramatic end-of-the-world exhibit on climate change.

At Malvern Garden Buildings, we take a real pride in supporting creativity and innovation in gardening and garden retreats that feel like portals to other worlds.

We can’t wait for Chelsea Flower Show 2024 and all the exciting developments for Malvern Garden Buildings’ collaboration with the RHS on the Houseplant Studios in the years to come!

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