The Body Shop Garden

At the Chelsea Flower Show 2020

The Body Shop will be exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show for the first-time this year, with a garden which pays homage to our founding feminist principles and activist roots.

Created to provide a beautiful and thought-provoking backdrop for conversations around female empowerment and social taboos, The Body Shop Garden supports a global activist campaign launching at the end of March. The garden’s feminist theme is embedded within all design elements, including the plant species, an iris sculpture and further artworks created by artisans specifically chosen for their links to femininity.

The Body Shop Garden, which features in the Artisan category and has been designed by Beauty Botanist Jennifer Hirsch Dip.Hort.Kew, relies on three traditional artisanal skills: blacksmithing, woodworking and topiary. These have been used throughout the space to create a series of talking points, including a Georgia O’Keefe inspired Corten metal iris sculpture set within a water feature, and Corten metal ‘spine’ which runs the length of the garden. Topiary is used to depict the recumbent female form, while curving oak benches engraved with feminist quotes provide seats for reflection and conversation.

All plant species used in the garden’s soft-scaping have been selected for their use in herbal pharmacopeia to treat female-related health issues, to help reshape perspectives.

Following its instalment at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the garden will be transported to a permanent home within The Body Shop’s Sussex headquarters, where it can continue to celebrate the brand’s feminist principles and enrich workers, who already benefit from the headquarters’ biodiverse and bee-friendly landscaping.

Linda Campbell, Managing Director of The Body Shop, says:
“The Body Shop has a strong campaigning heritage supporting the rights of women and young girls, but sadly many still face widespread inequality and discrimination across a number of issues. We hope this garden will not only provide a beautiful and thought-provoking space in which we can further open up the dialogue surrounding female health and empowerment, but also drive action for positive social change.”

Jennifer Hirsch Dip.Hort.Kew (pictured), who designed the Lady Garden, says:
“The Body Shop and I have enjoyed a longstanding partnership and designing this garden has been an exciting way to express their feminist values. Everything about the garden has been chosen for its ties to femininity, including the soft-scaping and the perceptual artistic elements, even myself as a female botanist. This garden theme is not just thought-provoking, but also demonstrates the beauty and power of horticulture.”

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