London’s Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for very good reason. The Gardens’ buildings and plant collections combine to form a unique testimony to developments in garden art and botanical science that were subsequently diffused around the world. The 18th century English landscape garden concept was adopted in Europe and Kew’s influence in horticulture, plant classification and economic botany spread internationally since the 1770s. Since the 20th century the Kew Gardens has become one of the world’s most prestigious institutions of conservation ecology.
Earlier this morning the team at NOWNESS publised a short film which beautifully captures the essence of the Herbarium at London’s Royal Botanic Gardens, a “Victorian maze filled with arcane books, learned scientists, and cabinet after cabinet of cataloged plants. Taking visual cues from the alluring intricacies of a Wes Anderson movie, this elegant short, ‘The Plant Family Tree,’ is the fifth in the series ‘Beyond the Gardens’, created by the London-based studio, Lonelyleap. Coinciding with this summer’s ‘IncrEdibles’ festival that runs through September, the series was designed to expose Kew’s rarely seen research aspect, and uncovers a haven from the hubbub of tourists outside. It tells the story of an institution that has played an integral role in the discovery of new species since it opened in 1853, with seven million specimens held in its many wings.”