There was a time when we hardly noticed flower installations in central London. It was normal for arches of cherry blossom or white irises to appear the moment spring hit, usually splashed with branding for some sweet pink gin. But things have changed. Lockdown turned London into a city of obsessive gardeners and houseplant hoarders, people who stop dead in the street to identify shrubs growing between pavement slabs. 

We’re all a bunch of petal heads now, which is why we’re unusually excited by the news that a big floating botanical garden has been installed above Gerrard Street in Chinatown today (Wednesday, June 16). The garden features artistic recreations of seven different flower species: pink Chinese Peony, orange Tiger Lily, blue orchids, tulips, hibiscus, sunflowers and peach blossom. And they do look pretty, even though they’re fake. 


London,Chinatown,flowers,Jamie Lau,Studio Lau,Gerrard Street,soho
Photograph: Jamie Lau


The garden will be hovering above Chinatown until the end of August to try and tempt Londoners to make use of the area’s 40 outdoor restaurants as well as outdoor seating for 150 people in Newport Place that can be used for takeaway. 

It shouldn’t take a publicity stunt to get people to visit somewhere as objectively fantastic as London’s Chinatown, but if it means we get to eat dim sum from Gerrard’s Corner under a kaleidoscopic sky of flowers, we’re all for it.

The floating botanical garden will be hanging above Gerrard’s Street from June 16. 

In other elaborate garden news, have you seen the giant forest in the Somerset House courtyard?

Itching to share your knowledge of shrubbery? Take your friends on a stroll through these green spaces

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