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RHS Chelsea win for ‘Hope After Humanity’ Houseplant Studio


Gemma Haigh stood to left of houseplant studio with mannequin on right
The Plant Parlour founder, Gemma Haigh, at her houseplant studio, 'Hope After Humanity' - photo by Katie Martin

The Plant Parlour x GrowTropicals team were elevated to silver-gilt victory in this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show houseplant studios. Transporting ‘Hope After Humanity’ visitors to a future where plants ruled the world, the houseplant studio display brought a uniquely immersive experience to RHS Chelsea.


Get the low-down on how ‘Hope After Humanity’ impacted the judges, press, celebrities and visitors below!

Garden building filled with foliage, showing a mannequin in the centre, with open doors and graffiti about climate change
The 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio by The Plant Parlour x GrowTropicals

The ‘Hope After Humanity’ Houseplant Studio

Designed by Gemma Haigh of The Plant Parlour, the ‘Hope After Humanity’ houseplant studio showcased a future where humans were gone, and global warming had taken effect.


The year was 2099, and the houseplants that survived climate change were shown populating an abandoned London boutique. A lifeless mannequin at the centre of the installation symbolised what was left of humanity, and nature had reclaimed what once belonged to people.

A stunning, foliage-filled space was shown littered with tin cans, with peeling posters hinting to the failures of ‘sustainable fashion’. Graffiti commissioned from #DFTE hinted to a past where climate activists saw the dangers of an ever-warming planet and sought to warn others.


Quotes like “You are never too small to make a difference” from Greta Thunberg, and “The climate is changing, why aren’t we?” were displayed on the exterior walls and windows of the Malvern Garden Buildings studio flat. A radio fuzzed and beeped with morse code, playing a spine-tingling survivor message, created by voice artist, Eve Jasper.


Graffiti by #DFTE reading 'The Future is Green' on a side wall of the houseplant studio
Graffiti by #DFTE reading 'The Future is Green' on a side wall of the houseplant studio

A Hit with the Press

‘Hope After Humanity’ was a hit with the press and public, taking RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 by storm.

BBC presenter, Frances Tophill, visits 'Hope After Humanity' on press day at RHS Chelsea
BBC presenter, Frances Tophill, visits 'Hope After Humanity' on press day at RHS Chelsea

The whirlwind week began with press day on Monday 20th May. Celebrities, journalists and social media influencers rushed to RHS Chelsea Flower Show for a special preview, before the event opened to the public.


The Plant Parlour and GrowTropicals commissioned a special artwork by street artist, Doppel, to showcase plants taking over the world. Marco took inspiration for his work from a shared Pinterest board, which included images of foliage-filled spaces and nature reclaiming angelic statues and garden ornaments.

Street artist, Marco, aka Doppel, completing an artwork at the 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio
Street artist, Marco, aka Doppel, completing an artwork at the 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio

The Plant Parlour team were at the studio all week and had the pleasure of speaking to actress and Woodland Trust ambassador, Charity Wakefield, on RHS Chelsea press day. She said:


“I think this is my favourite garden because… we have hope because nature prevails… you’re celebrating the organic forms that would naturally occur. I find it incredibly inspiring, and it reminds me of the opening of David Attenborough’s documentary about Chernobyl where you see the dereliction and you see how nature’s growing back.”


She went on to say that as someone who lives in Southeast London, works with the Woodland Trust, and talks a lot about rewilding, she is interested in regenerating urban spaces to make them “more accessible to nature”. You can watch the whole video we filmed with Charity here.

'Hope After Humanity' designer, Gemma Haigh, with actress and campaigner, Charity Wakefield
'Hope After Humanity' designer, Gemma Haigh, with actress and campaigner, Charity Wakefield - image courtesy of Charity Wakefield, Instagram

Another famous visitor was Kate Humble who stopped by with her mum for a chat about climate change and the importance of sustainability.


The team also spotted legendary guitarist, Brian May, Andrew Lincoln from AMC's 'The Walking Dead', and Deborah Meaden, who commented that she’d be wearing our mannequin’s outfit on the next series of 'Dragon’s Den'. We think everyone will want a Philodendron Scandens if Deborah Meaden has one!

Brian May wearing a large hat, peering into a houseplant studio at RHS Chelsea
Brian May stops at the 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio to see what's going on - photo by Meg Warren-Davis

Another important guest was Muhammed Saddiq, the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, who stopped to talk about his work with the Bristol Climate & Nature Partnership. In addition, we had an in-depth discussion with a UN representative about climate change and educating the younger generation.

A large crowd of people outside the Hope After Humanity houseplant studio, taking photographs
Crowds gather outside the 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio to get a glimpse of Joe Swift and Monty Don - photo by Katie Martin

Media Coverage

Throughout RHS Chelsea, the ‘Hope After Humanity’ houseplant studio was featured four times by the BBC. Coverage included a feature on purples in planting with Frances Tophill, who explored the studio to show viewers the underside of a Calathea Helen Kennedy leaf.

A crowd of camera men gather outside a RHS Chelsea houseplant studio and someone holds a sign saying 'No Flash Photography'
BBC presenters, Joe Swift and Monty Don film a feature inside the 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio - photo by Katie Martin

Another RHS Chelsea feature by the BBC was filmed with presenters Joe Swift and Monty Don. It covered the premise of the houseplant studio as an abandoned boutique, with Joe Swift commenting that our studio could represent the end of the high street as people turn to online shopping.


Monty Don commented that this potential future for the human race is “rather troubling”. He said however, that it was “really beautiful” and “well done”. He was impressed with the way plants had been represented in a naturalistic environment, saying that from a “gardening point of view, you can have plants if you have a dark room indoors”.

Designer, Gemma Haigh, looks thrilled with a Silver-Gilt medal
Studio designer, Gemma Haigh, looks thrilled with an RHS Chelsea Silver-Gilt medal - photo by Meg Warren-Davis

An Award-Winning Achievement

First thing on Tuesday, Gemma arrived at RHS Chelsea to find a medal at the houseplant studio! ‘Hope After Humanity’ received a Silver-Gilt, which was an enormous achievement for The Plant Parlour x GrowTropicals team.


The concept was challenging but the install was successful, and the RHS Chelsea judges fed back that they really felt like we’d made the boutique feel abandoned. RHS Head Judge, Lara Jewitt, highlighted that the planted roof, Cissus Discolour sewn on to the sofa, and large staghorn ferns from GrowTropicals stood out the most.

Detail of the Cissus Discolour houseplant on a sofa inside the 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio
Detail of the Cissus Discolour houseplant on a sofa inside the 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio

A Lasting Legacy?

Throughout RHS Chelsea week were visited by thousands of show visitors, many of whom stopped to speak to the team.

Gemma Haigh and Megan Warren-Davis show off the 'Hope After Humanity' T-Shirts worn at RHS Chelsea
Gemma Haigh and Megan Warren-Davis show off the 'Hope After Humanity' T-Shirts worn at RHS Chelsea

The Plant Parlour was represented by some incredible volunteers – Gemma’s friends – who all showed up to support the project. Wearing our ‘Hope After Humanity’ T-Shirts, the team greeted a swathe of wonderful ticket holders, giving away 2000 fliers throughout the week!


Every person had their own interpretation of our display, whether it was because it reminded them of the video game, 'The Last of Us', The TV series, 'Fallout', or it just surprised them to see such a shocking interpretation of the future of humanity.

Visitors to the 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio take it all in at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024
Visitors to the 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio take it all in at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

We were even visited by The Royal Hospital’s resident Chelsea Pensioners. Alan and Archie stopped by to speak to Gemma about their interpretation of our mannequin, who has been affectionately named Flora. They said the display resonated with them as they felt Flora represented the rebirth of Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Royal Hospital residents, Alan and Archie, stop by at 'Hope After Humanity' for a chat with Gemma Haigh
Royal Hospital residents, Alan and Archie, stop by at 'Hope After Humanity' for a chat with Gemma Haigh - photo by Katie Martin

Followers of The Plant Parlour on Instagram will be hearing more about Alan and Archie in future, so make sure you’re keeping an eye out!


Visitors to ‘Hope After Humanity’ commented on the earthy smell of the houseplant studio, the soft touch of the kokedama Hoya Linearises that hung from the ceiling, and the sound of the atmospheric radio broadcast.


Our most popular plants were the anthuriums, the Hoya Linearis, the Philodendron Melanochrysum, the Cissus Discolour and the Peace Lillies. We also enjoyed talking about the little Biophytum Sensitivum plants that punctuated the planting in our no-dig beds.

Hoya Linearis plants made into kokedamas, tumble from the rafters in 'Hope After Humanity'
Hoya Linearis plants made into kokedamas, tumble from the rafters in 'Hope After Humanity'

Special Sponsors

A huge thank you to everyone who has donated to the ‘Hope After Humanity’ Crowd Funder so far. Each and every one of you deserves to say that you own a small piece of the houseplant studio this year.


Sponsors who have donated so far:


Samantha Inwood

Marc Isaac

Tom Buckle

Lydia Bell

Abigail Stocker

Ben Beavers

Jane Perrone

Courtney Goetz

Melanie Pierson

Yvonne Haigh


If you would still love to stake your claim in the RHS Chelsea installation then head over to the ‘Hope After Humanity’ Go Fund Me page to donate today!

'Hope After Humanity' after dark at an RHS Chelsea after hours event
The 'Hope After Humanity' houseplant studio after dark at an RHS Chelsea after hours event

An Incredible Area

The Plant Parlour x GrowTropicals display was one of seven houseplant studios at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.


Throughout the week, we enjoyed the company of our immediate neighbours at The Glasshouse, The Little Botanical and In the Garden. Our team also enjoyed spending time with Botanic York, Plant Warehouse and Plants by There.

Designer, Gemma Haigh, with Greg and Morag Hill from The Little Botanical at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024
Designer, Gemma Haigh, with Greg and Morag Hill from The Little Botanical at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 - photo by Katie Martin

You can find out about all the houseplant studios from RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 on the Malvern Garden Buildings and Royal Horticultural Society websites.


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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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