Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

A beach experience in a horticultural setting

The vision

Founded in 1759, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are one of London’s top tourist attractions and a World Heritage Site.  Kew prides itself on providing fun and education for its many visitors through an engaging programme of events and displays.  The Garden Company was delighted to be invited to construct a ‘pop-up’ garden to help visitors – many of whom are city dwellers – to enjoy a naturalistic beach experience over the summer weeks.

Our insight

We were asked to interpret the concept of a Mediterranean beach garden and bring it to life with creativity and attention to detail. The main challenge was to create a naturalistic seascape setting which was sufficiently robust for its visitors to enjoy – Kew’s intention was for children and families to play in the space, not just admire it. Health and safety aspects were vital for this public space; and sensitivity to Kew’s special planting were an important part of the logistics and planning for deliveries of materials.

The transformation

Over a period of six weeks, many visitors enjoyed the ‘pop-up’ beach experience. Fortunately, the weather was warm and dry, which encouraged people to relax on the sun loungers as well as playing with their children. The team at Kew were delighted to see their vision of families enjoying time in a Mediterranean beach setting being realised. The whole project was also a success in terms of the positive media attention that the temporary garden attracted.

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