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The Green Bathroom Retreat CA at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Horticultural shows such as Chelsea are often a space for designers and nurseries to showcase new cultivars or styling techniques, many of which trickle down into stores or garden centres over the subsequent year. Over the past few days, many visitors have asked us what new trends we have noticed within the indoor plant sector; particularly in recent years, we see more people searching for rare or distinct species, some of which we have included among our collection of plants at Chelsea.

Our 'Green Bathroom Retreat' demonstrates the possibilities of creating a natural paradise in even the forgotten corners of the home. It showcases a wide variety of plants suitable for bathrooms, such as hanging epiphytes, structural tropical species and architectural succulents. We hope to encourage people of any age to introduce plants into the house, with a particular focus on inspiring younger generations with limited outdoor space, or who rent properties, that they can design a moveable, organic world inside their home.

Key features of our design include a bath centrepiece filled with aquatic plants, with the space around it subtly separated into different areas, allowing visitors to experience myriad plant species suitable for indoors. Many species that grow well indoors often hail from tropical regions and we intend to reflect this within the 'Wet Room' area. Brimming with plants that respond well to high levels of humidity, this is an immersive area showcasing species from the Alocasia genus, Begonias with notable foliage and many other rare or sought after species.

As the visitor moves round the space, they see a transition in the types of plants around them as they enter the 'Dry/Towel Area'; here we share examples of succulent plants that could live happily in bright bathrooms with ample natural light, including some much loved plants from our own collection. Large, floor-standing specimen succulents with interesting forms are displayed amongst crested or monstrose succulent varieties such as Pedilanthus macrocarpus. As space indoors is often limited, we will also demonstrate how to utilise height and ceiling space by suspending plants such as Rhipsalis, Lepismium and unusual Huperzia species (H. nummulariifolia and H. goebelii).

Our exhibit of a ‘Bathroom Retreat’ is a hyper-real version of what people could apply to their own space; whilst many plant specimens we intend to show will be of a dramatic proportion and densely planted, we hope that it can inspire visitors to be adventurous with their own plant choices and styling, even if on a smaller scale to suit their own bathrooms. During the show week, we also plan to bring some of our mother plants (who usually reside within our stores) to talk through propagation methods and demonstrate how to take cuttings, which they can then take away and watch grow at home.

Most importantly for us however, is noticing just a general increase in the popularity of indoor plants and more people taking an interest in sharing their home with these green creatures. We hope that through spending more time at home and quietly enjoying the shape and form of the plants around you, growing plants indoors becomes more than a trend and instead a way of living.