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Nature: ‘the essential qualities or characteristics by which something is recognised’


‘the physical world made up of plants and animals and landscapes’

The garden was the only successful UK entry in France's Chaumont-sur-Loire International Festival 2016 joining others from France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Russia, Canada and China. 

The garden was self-built over a period of two weeks in April. Apart from planting that was sourced from France and Belgium, all the hardworks materials like paving, timber and steel were procured from UK. 

Photographs by Florian Waas

 ‘It was a dreary night of November’ and in his eerie cell, Victor was about to ‘infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at his feet’. Beautiful yet repulsive, with his ‘yellow skin, lustrous and flowing black’ hair, with teeth ‘of a pearly whiteness, the yellow eye of the creature opens’. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 1818.


The garden sets the scene for a world dominated by science where experiments can and do go wrong. This environment was originally one ruled by order, precision and accuracy where everything had its place.  In the wake of failure though, chaos begins to reign and create its own disordered patterns. The décor begins to disintegrate and emotions begin to consume and dominate.

Step into what was once a pristine experimental setting which has now become a stark place and let yourself explore a different side of science. Smell, touch, interact with hybrid plants, have a close-up look at unusual combinations and let yourself become part of this set design. Be curious! Inside the lab, nature is starting to take over; mosses and dried plants hide the former clean, pristine lines of what was once laboratory space. Unplugged wires and the working utensils of test tubes and beakers have been left behind and become enveloped. Spilled liquids are absorbed and blended into the earth. Nature is transformed and as a result of this scientific failure, new genetically modified specimens begin to develop. Beauty begins to appear in the macabre, a different order forms as nature redeems the failure.


  • Allium sphaerocephalon 'Red Mohican'

  • Arisarum proboscideum ‘Mouse Plant’

  • Cactaceae spp.

  • Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

  • Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldtau’

  • Dryopteris erythrosora

  • Eryngium bourgatii ‘Big Blue’.

  • Hedera helix ‘Hibernica’

  • Knautia arvensis

  • Mentha x piperita

  • Molinia caerulea subsp. Arundinacea ‘Karl Foerster’

  • Monarda ‘Squaw’

  • Ocinum basilicum

  • Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’

  • Phyllostachys aurea

  • Phyllostachys nigra

  • Sedum spp.

  • Sphagnum spp.

  • Thymus vulgaris



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