Conceptual garden competition's seven deadly sins theme sees creation of 'provocative' lust garden

Designer Rachel Parker Soden was quick to apply for the lust theme when given a choice of the seven deadly sins for the Hampton Court conceptual garden competition this year.

Rachel Parker Soden in her lust garden
Rachel Parker Soden in her lust garden

Parker Soden said: "It was a logical one for me to choose, maybe that's just an insight into how my mind works. You could choose whatever theme of the seven you wanted. I thought I'd have no chance as everyone would be doing lust.

"Sometimes the RHS might regret some of the press we've had - they're a bit worried about the vocabularly. It's about sex and the sexlife of plants and our reaction to that. I love the idea of peering in on the sexlife of plants in a voyeuristic way. The plants are unaware. But I'm not saying everyone gets their gratification from it. 

"The beauty of plants is a coincidence, but that's their beauty to us."

Parker Soden is using plants such as roses for romance and chocolate Cosmos for its sensual smell. Horny goat weed is "the viagra of the plant world", she says.

"The BBC spoke to me but said the Hampton Court broadcasts all go out before the watershed so they haven't filmed anything. I don't think it shouldn't be shown before 9pm but I hope we get in the coverage of the conceptual gardens."

She added that the brief gave her "a licence to be more provocative and risky".

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