Two leading horticultural businesses are working on a botanic garden visitor attraction for gin brand Bombay Sapphire at Laverstoke Mill in Hampshire.
Landscaper Landform Consultants and grower Kelways have worked on a glasshouse display designed by Thomas Heatherwick on the 2ha brownfield former mill site, where banknote paper was once produced. Meller is the main contractor on the project.
The Bombay Spirit Company's new distillery will preview at an event at Kew on 8 July. It will feature photovoltaic cells and a water turbine. The company will heat its glasshouses using recovered heat from the distillery and will use its spent botanicals to partially fuel its biomass boiler.
The gin uses 10 botanical herbs and visitors will be able to explore the origins of the plants used and their role in Bombay Sapphire's gin profile. They will also be able to discover the history of Bombay Sapphire before learning the history of Laverstoke Mill.
Heatherwick said: "As the particular flavours of Bombay Sapphire gin are derived from ten botanicals, the centrepiece of the site is a glasshouse, within which visitors will experience the specific horticultural specimens infused in the spirit.
"The glasshouse, influenced by Britain's rich heritage of glasshouse structures, will be two separate structures providing both a humid environment for spices that originate from the tropics as well as a dry temperate zone for Mediterranean plants."
Kelways was involved in 11 RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens this year, growing, sourcing or storing 18,000 plants.
The Somerset nursery has also found the 5,000 plants for the "Walkie Talkie" floating roof garden in London (HW, 21 June) and has now sourced thousands more plants for the Bombay Sapphire Garden.