Location: City of Westminster
Date: 2005 - 2005
Client: Vitsoe
Floristic Affinities

Flora; Plants of a particular region, habitat or geological period

Affinities; a spontaneous or natural linking or sympathy / a close relationship based on a common origin or structure

‘Floristic affinities’ describe phytosociological associations of flora.

The affinities that lie, conceptually, between a classic shelving system conceived by a pre-eminent designer, and a natural birch woodland in the context of the Chelsea Flower Show, is essentially the celebration of pioneers.

Chelsea Flower Show has thrived over the last 143 years as a microcosm of current horticultural mood. In this respect, perhaps the most significant issue right now concerns climate change, affecting both natural and artificial landscapes. It is, after all, the combination of climatic and edaphic factors that determine the general character and range of vegetation in the natural environment and related ecologies.

The installation associates woodland as a primary ecosystem and structural element in our natural landscape, with the self-supporting or almost epiphytic qualities of the Vitsoe shelving system. It celebrates the elegant simplicity and adaptability of this pioneering structural design, which can respond to its own internal environment as readily as the birch can colonise open ground. Both are pioneers within their own natural or manmade habitats.
The exhibition creates a symbiotic relationship between man’s innovations in the search for aesthetic and functional integrity with nature’s colonisers of open ground. Briefly the shop becomes a patchy urban forest thicket with a vertical field layer of Deschampsia grasses cladding the walls. It unites pioneers in nature and design.
Installation: Vitsoe
Tree supply: Forestry Commission
Plant supply: Robin Tacchi Plants

Photography: © Sarah Blee and J & L Gibbons