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Seven Deadly Sins - 'Lust' Garden

The 2014 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show saw the Conceptual Gardens take on a dark twist - each of the seven gardens were themed around one of the seven deadly sins.  The conceptual gardens at the show are often thought-provoking, inspiring and often controversial and this year was no different.

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Conceptual Garden - RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2014

Rachel explains, 'Plants have developed attractive qualities of beauty and fragrance, of course not for our benefit - the principal purpose of a flower is reproduction - and yet there is a time old relationship between plants and human sex.  Long before it was known that plants had a sex life of their own, they have played a symbolic role in our relations, even in the most primitive civilisations, the appearance and scent of plants have led to their use as aphrodisiacs, tokens of courtship, talismans and features of rituals such as wedding ceremonies.  

Reversely, our desire and lust for beautiful flowers and plants puts us in the pollinator role, the demand for more leading to an increase in propagation.'


Burnham Landscaping were with us again as contractor for the build of the garden.

'Flowers are essentially tarts, prostitutes for the bees.' Uncle Monty, Withnail & I (1987)

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Very special thanks go to our amazing contributors, Hartley Botanic, who supplied our beautiful 'The Horizon' glasshouse and London Stone, who supplied all our paving materials.

‘…in gardens beauty is a by-product.  The main business is sex and death…’

Sam Llewellyn, The Sea Garden

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The conceptual 'Lust' Garden, a provocative yet playful garden, designed by Rachel Parker Soden aimed to explore the relationship between our appreciation of the beauty of plants with the sexual function of flowers, which enable the plant to propogate its own species.  The show garden was re-contextualised as a 'live show' in it's own Amsterdam inspired red light district, placing the show vistor in the role of voyeur on the sex lives of plants.