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    Victorian inspired portable gardens for today’s generation rent

    At this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival (10-13 May) 2018, award winning Garden Designer Olivia Kirk will be exhibiting two bespoke, portable terrariums in her Show Garden, which are large enough to house a mini garden, illustrating how millennial, generation rent gardeners, can still engage with nature, even if they don’t have a garden.

    Olivia Kirk, is creating The Collectors Garden, her first Show Garden at RHS Malvern Spring Festival, which celebrates the redevelopment of The Royal Porcelain Works (RPW) in Worcester.  The innovative garden design provides an inspiring mix of history and modernity, by linking the Victorian heritage of the RPW site with its exciting new re-developed 21st Century role as a centre for the performing arts and modern craftsmanship, which opens to the public at the end of June.

    Within the design Olivia wanted to include a mini portable garden that today’s young gardeners can take with them wherever they happen to be living.  Her design inspiration for the bespoke modern terrariums came from the original Wardian Case, which was invented by Dr Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward (1791-1868).  These portable glass cases enabled the Victorian plant hunters to bring plants from around the world, back safely in a protected environment.

    Ornamental terrariums went on to become a popular addition to the Victorian parlour, and these self-contained eco-systems are currently undergoing a revival with urban millennials wanting to bring an outdoor garden into their homes.

    Olivia’s stunning Terrarium designs also have a Japanese style influence, with wooden handles and external shoji screens, which can be used to create additional shade, if required when positioned in bright sunlight.  They can either be free standing on detachable legs or hung from the ceiling from by the handle.

    The Terrariums in The Collectors Garden have been beautifully planted by Terrarium specialists, London Terrariums. The planting includes Asparagus Fern, Parlour Fern, Fittonia, miniature orchids, Ivy, Pilea and Calathea.  All of which create a year-round garden that will thrive in the flexible and protected conditions of the Terrarium. It is hoped that Olivia’s Terrarium design will go into production after RHS Malvern Festival and become available for the public to buy.

    Olivia, who runs a design practice in Herefordshire, has 3 RHS Chelsea Medals including Gold and has designed many private and public space gardens around the UK. She said: “I read a report recently which said that 1 in 4 households are expected to be in living in private rentals by 2021. That’s an awful lot of people without their own garden. So, I wanted to create a portable mini garden that people can enjoy even if they live in an urban environment and they can take it with them when they move! Everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of nature wherever they live.”


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