LONDON — Selfridges has unveiled a not-so-secret garden inside the Oxford Street store at a time when the homebound British are flocking to outdoor spaces and cultivating their patches of green, however large or small.
The garden center sells tools, seeds, indoor and outdoor plants, pots, Selfridges’ own label compost and gnomes in the store’s signature yellow.
The store said the center is a “playful response” to the pandemic-related boom in outdoor appreciation. It is also part of Good Nature, Selfridges’ creative theme for 2021.
The store pointed to figures from the Horticultural Trades Association showing that more than 3 million people started gardening in 2020 as a result of more time spent at home since the first lockdown last year.
In addition to plants, seeds and gardening paraphernalia, the garden center is also selling a curation of fashion, lifestyle and beauty products, an exclusive collection from Prada and bespoke Selfridges own-label merchandise. The latter has names such as “Herb Your Enthusiasm” and “Horti-Couture,” to appeal to gardening and fashion enthusiasts alike.
The center was launched by horticultural consultant Angela Maynard, who advised Selfridges in the development of the concept, and by the botanical artist Carly Rogers who created a new work that highlights “the beauty of the overgrown garden.”
There is a Potting Shed that serves as a venue for events and advice, with a resident gardener and a virtual “dial-a-gardener” service.
Selfridges has also planned a program of workshops, experiences and happenings that were set to begin Friday. They’re aimed at exploring “the pleasure and positivity that gardening brings,” and at promoting practical skills and sustainable methods.
Selfridges London has the largest offer, while the units in Birmingham and Manchester will have a Green House concept. Customers will be able to shop the range and find gardening information and advice via selfridges.com.
The retailer has also “greened up” Oxford Street, with a grow bag installation in front of the store’s canopy entrance.
The store has named its yellow garden gnome Gary, and he features on a collection of caps, totes and T-shirts. Gary, dressed in new season Versace, Bottega Veneta and Jacquemus, also features in a campaign by the Berlin-based creative studio Sucuk + Bratwurst.
A very limited run of Gary gnomes will be available to buy, Selfridges said.
“A garden center is evocative, but familiar, and has provided rich inspiration for our teams, literally and creatively,” said Selfridges creative director Hannah Emslie.
“We know our customers are more interested in gardening and greening than they have ever been — and so we are playing with the idea by bringing the essentials of a typical garden center to our stores as we continue to explore pleasure in nature this year.”