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HUGE NEWS! Houseplant Studio Collab between The Plant Parlour x GrowTropicals for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

A few weeks ago, GrowTropicals and I received confirmation that our application to create a Houseplant Studio for RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 had been approved.


The Plant Parlour x GrowTropicals collaboration graphic

It’s been SO hard to contain my excitement about the project, but the secret is finally out! To those of you who have been following on Instagram and already heard the news, thank you for all your support so far. If you haven’t seen our epic announcement reel yet, then you can check it out here.


Wooden garden building in dark colour with green letter stickers and plants at entrance
GrowTropicals' 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show Houseplant Studio collaboration with Atypical

I’m not here to trace back over the territory covered in our reel though, I’m here to give you some additional juicy snippets of information that will leave you wondering what on earth we’re working on. Think dark foliage, vining plants and bringing the outside in.

About me – Gemma (The Plant Parlour)

Many of you will know me from Instagram as a plant personality, posting about my large collection of aroids and showing off my collection. Championing sustainability is at the heart of what I do. I’m always challenging myself to be better, to question the status quo and explain existing concepts.


Woman laughing bathed in warm light against a dark green foliage backdrop.
Gemma Haigh, the founder of The Plant Parlour (Photograph by Megan Warren-Davis)

Before I became an obsessive houseplant collector, I worked as a curator in museums and galleries. The best part of my job was researching, designing, writing, and installing exhibitions. My work allowed me to be creative and challenge things through interpretation. I was only dealing with inanimate objects though, not living things!


I come from a family of gardeners and am well-versed in outdoor plants, but during the pandemic, I branched out into houseplants. Accumulating rare plants gave the term ‘collection’ a whole new meaning for me. Just like I used to display artworks and artefacts in my day job, I set about imaginatively integrating tropical plants into my home.


Wall shelves filled with large leafed phildoendrons and anthuriums
Gemma's plant shelves filled with anthuriums and philodendrons

How was the idea for an RHS Chelsea houseplant studio born?

In 2021, I visited the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the first time. I was inspired by the creativity that went into all the show gardens but was particularly impressed with the houseplant studios. The array of colours, materials, and plants used drew me in. I hoped that one day, I would be able to design my own houseplant studio.

It was also at that show where I first met GrowTropicals founder, Jacob, though we’ll come back to that…

I dreamt up the design for our RHS Chelsea houseplant studio over many sleepless nights. I was waking up and scribbling down ideas around July and August 2023 and as time went on, the ideas consolidated. Born from a creative vision to illustrate the need to curb the curve of climate change and encourage plant collectors to be more sustainable, this was a design that needed to be developed!

Queue GrowTropicals…


Terrarium filled with beautiful green foliage and a red flower
Terrarium filled with foliage by GrowTropicals

Why The Plant Parlour x GrowTropicals?

GrowTropicals are the perfect partner for me. Their incredible selection of sustainably sourced houseplants is vast and alluring. I knew that they’d be able to get hold of anything we needed for the studio! In addition, their passion for tropical plants shone through to me as I’ve seen their incredible private collection of 10,000 aroids and tropicals. It’s clear our brands are aligned!


What’s more, GrowTropicals are experienced with RHS Chelsea Flower Show, having created a Houseplant Studio in 2023 that won a gold medal. From the modern, sleek finish of their display to the precision they showed with their terrarium display, I knew they could help to deliver my design.


Their innovative team are experts at installing terrariums and they think outside the box. My crazy idea didn’t scare them, and they know what to expect from the show. They’ve set the bar, so now we need to maintain their premier position… No pressure at all!


Man standing back to admire an enormous semi-circular terrarium installation in the reception of an office
GrowTropicals' terrarium installation in a London office building

The Plant Parlour x GrowTropicals Houseplant Studio Design

Our houseplant studio will occupy a custom design by Malvern Garden Buildings. We’ll use deep colours and soft textures to achieve a uniquely immersive display. The mysterious planting and design will create an enchanted atmosphere, giving each plant its own personality and building a distinctive setting.

Visions of glossy foliage and velvet leaves won’t be all that visitors leave with: the studio has a powerful message. Our design confidently confronts this year’s RHS Chelsea theme of ‘Sustainability’. Our meaningful installation will use sustainably sourced plants and materials to deliver a powerful message about the dangers of global warming and the need to slow climate change.

Aiming to transcend limitations on indoor spaces, The Plant Parlour x Growtropicals houseplant studio design will explore what can be achieved when we embrace biophilic design and naturalistic planting. We are seeking to challenge traditional houseplant displays to inspire a new generation of houseplant collectors and transport visitors from a timber panelled building to a whole new world.


Dark anthuriums and tropical foliage in a dense planting arrangement
The kind of dark anthuriums and tropical foliage we're dreaming of for our houseplant studio display

What’s next?

If you’re thinking ‘COME ON GEMMA, you’re telling me a whole lot without telling me nothing at all’, well… welcome to this air of mystery and ambiguity, and don’t forget to STAY TUNED for more.

Sign up to this mailing list for updates and follow @theplantparlourgram and @growtropicals to catch all the details as they’re released. Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss it…

If you want to come and visit us at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024, then don’t forget to grab your ticket! We’re looking forward to welcoming so many of you at the show and inviting you into our houseplant studio between Tuesday 21st – Saturday 25th May 2024.


Wooden garden building in dark colour with plants outside
The Atypical x GrowTropicals 2023 Houseplant Studio collaboration

Comments


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Hi, thanks for dropping in to read The Plant Papers!

I'm Gemma and I'm the person behind The Plant Parlour. I have a huge collection of rare plants, that I keep in my home in the South of England.

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