Secret World of Plants
Rediscover the natural world and delight in its secret details with our summer series of immersive experiences.
Discover the hidden secrets of the plant world with unique art installations across the Gardens at our summer festival.
Explore the UK’s plants and landscapes up close through Vaughn Bell's 'Plantscapes' or the peaceful 'Please be Seated' by Paul Cocksedge.
Immerse yourself in the musical compositions of Jason Singh's 'Extinction Songs' and Alex Metcalfe's 'Tree Listening'.
Or why not admire the Secret World of Plants with the whole family on our bespoke trail?
Get up close to our native UK plant world in a series of unique large-scale installations by acclaimed artist Vaughn Bell that will begin to pop up across the Gardens from early May onwards.
You'll get to explore our overlooked native plant habitats in a series of six immersive structures, from native meadows and hedgerows to sand dunes and woodland.
Pop your head into the viewing holes and you'll see these incredible environments, specially curated together with our world-renowned team of horticultural experts, from a whole new perspective.
Please note, we are currently experiencing technical problems with the Tree Listening Project. We hope to have these resolved soon and apologise for any inconvenience.
Think trees don't make a sound? Think again.
Stand beneath one of the suspended sound domes along our Syon Vista and listen to the inner workings as water moves up through the trees.
Four majestic oaks will have sound domes suspended in their branches offering a variety of tree noises and specially commissioned classical music composed by Carol Jones, giving visitors a unique insight into the movements of a tree throughout the day.
Sound artist, beatboxer and composer Jason Singh takes over the Temperate House with a fascinating look at ‘plants as composer’.
Environmental factors such as light, sound and temperature all provide naturally occurring ‘biodata’ generated from plants. It is this biodata that Jason uses to create a musical score, using technology to record the plants' 'voice' as a beautifully melancholic soundtrack.
Across festival weekends, we have invited musicians to perform alongside the live recording, allowing the plant to not only become the musician but also the composer.
See Jason Singh perform
Jason will perform Extinction Songs alongside a musician in the incredible setting of the Temperate House.
13 & 27 June
14, 15, 21, 22, 28 August*
*Please note: Unfortunately Jason won’t be performing on 21 and 22 August due to COVID reasons. Instead, he will perform on 28 August with Alya al-Sultani.
Performances at 11:30, 1pm and 2:30pm
Space at this performance is limited in line with social distancing measures. Attendance is freely allocated at the Temperate House on a first come, first serve basis. Arrive in advance for a chance to be included.
Please be Seated
Take in the beauty of the Gardens from a different perfective with the monumental and playful seating installation by architectural designer Paul Cocksedge.
The design is a rippling wave of wood that rises to form arches for you to walk through, and curves under to create spaces for you to sit, lie, and relax.
Follow our family trail to discover the Secret World of Plants!
Listen to the mysterious sounds of water moving inside trees, hunt for different plants hiding in the Plantscapes around the Gardens, and learn what you can do to help plants and wildlife flourish in your area.
You can pick up a guide to the family trail when you arrive at the Gardens to start your adventure.
Saturday Science Family Learning Workshop
Venue: The Tepee Tents (next to White Peaks)*
Every Saturday 11am - 4pm throughout the summer holidays until 4 September 2021.
Join our family learning workshops to explore plant adaptations and take an up-close look at some unusual plants.
You can pick up a family learning card and activity sheet before you head into the Gardens to learn more about the ways plants have learnt to adapt to their environment, or download a learning card here.
The workshops will run as drop-in sessions and are free of charge with entry to the Gardens.
*Please note: On Saturday 14 August 2021 this event will take place in the Davies Exploration House (behind the Temperate House).
Supported by Starling Bank