A glimpse into the fu­ture

Condé Nast House & Garden - - DESIGN NOTES -

The Chelsea Flower Show has al­ways been in the van­guard of gar­den­ing taste and trends, which now in­volves the fu­ture of technology and sus­tain­abil­ity. This was pre­cisely the com­bi­na­tion that in­spired Ikea and Tom Dixon’s fu­tur­is­tic gar­den in the main marquee, Gar­den­ing Will Save the World. The RHS judges might not have been es­pe­cially impressed, only award­ing it a sil­ver medal. But vis­i­tors were en­tranced by the gar­den’s lower level, which was in­fused by lilac light to give an at­mos­phere of in­cu­ba­tion. In a se­ries of glass cab­i­nets, hy­per-nat­u­ral, ed­i­ble plants had been grown us­ing hy­dro­ponic technology, demon­strat­ing that food can be pro­duced in an ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment where tra­di­tional meth­ods of pro­duc­tion are im­pos­si­ble. Steps on both sides of the gar­den lead to its up­per level, de­scribed as a ‘botan­i­cal oa­sis that will en­cour­age vis­i­tors to im­merse themselves in a canopy-like ecosys­tem of trees, flow­ers and plants with medic­i­nal, health and en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits’. The whole thing was fu­tur­is­tic and like all things Ikea it was rooted in prac­ti­cal­ity. I have no doubt lots of peo­ple will be pro­duc­ing food like this in the fu­ture.

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