Tight rows of low herbs and plants bathing in red light and "Dixon" written with white neon light in the background.

Will Gardening Save The World?

Well, without plants and more planting we are all in trouble.

So IKEA and Tom Dixon are exploring urban farming together. At Chelsea Flower Show 21 – 25 May we will share more.

Food is a crucial part of everyday life. But everyone might not know that the world needs an extra five billion tonnes of food over the next decade to feed our growing population. Including the many more people living in cities. This became the starting point for IKEA and Tom Dixon to explore urban farming together. We asked ourselves if gardening can save the world. Because when we grow our own food, even in small apartments, it has a positive impact on our health and the health of our planet. So for the first step of this project we have worked on a garden for Chelsea Flower Show 21-25 May.

“For IKEA, this collaboration is about challenging the way society looks at growing in general and addressing that it’s both possible and rewarding to have a place to grow your own plants in the city. Food is key to humanity and design can support with better solutions. Because at the end of the day we need people to feel inspired to grow and harvest their own edibles within their homes and communities”, says James Futcher, Creative Leader at IKEA Range and Supply.

A futuristic room in violet light, with glass cabinets with plants growing inside and three pillars covered in greenery.

An exploded view of a greenhouse inside an artificial hill with bushes and trees growing on it.

The garden which has been given the name “Gardening will Save the World” will feature over 4 000 plants in two levels where visitors can experience the contrast of the hyper-natural and hyper-tech. The base will be a horticultural laboratory where hydroponic technology is implemented, whilst the raised garden will be a botanic oasis with a natural aesthetic for visitors to immerse themselves in.  

“As part of the Chelsea Flower Show, we have designed and realised an experimental model for growing plants in the urban environment. Aiming to give back to cities and create productive landscapes within urban zones, the garden includes a raised modular landscape with edible and medicinal plants and an enclosed based garden fuelled by hydroponic systems and controllable lighting.” Tom Dixon says.

A man leaning over a table looking at two drawings.

The garden will demonstrate how people can contribute to the movement of growing at home, and make a difference to reducing for example food waste, as well as broadcasting the beauty and functional importance of horticulture, through both traditional knowledge and the latest in growing innovation. And to ensure the garden can inspire people also beyond Chelsea Flower Show, it will be donated to charity Participatory City, an innovative practical participation platform, and moved to Barking and Dagenham in East London. It will stay there for at least three years where supporting greening and urban farming projects will be included.

As for the second step of this project, that is all about finding affordable and sustainable solutions to grow plants and vegetables in our homes and urban environments. Some first prototypes of product ideas are developed and the final result will be available globally at IKEA stores in 2021.

Curious to find out which plants we have used in the garden? Here is the plant list!



Nasturtium – Tropaeolum nasturtium ‘Ladybird Rose’

Nasturtium – Tropaeolum nasturtium ‘Velvety Profond’

Angelica – Angelica archangelica

Angelica – Angelica ‘Vicars Mead’

Flat Leaved Parsley – Petroselinum crispum

Red Frills Mustard – Brassica juncea var. crispifolia ‘Rubra’

Tree Spinach – Chenopodium giganteum

Lettuce – Lettuce ‘Merveille des Quatre Saisons’

Red veined Sorrel – Rumex sanguines var. sanguines

Beetroot – Beta vulgaris ‘Bull’s Blood’

Chard (white stem) – Beta vulgaris subsp. Cicla var. flavescens White Silver 2

Chard (red stem) – Beta vulgaris subsp. Cicla var. flavescens Rhubarb Charm

Chinese Cabbage – Brassica rapa subsp. Chinensis

Mitzuna – Brassica rapa subsp. Japonica ‘Mitzuna’

Broad Bean – Broad bean ‘Crimson flowered’

Cabbage Red Drum – Cabbage red drum

Black French Bean – Dwarf bean ‘Purple Teepee’

Kale ‘Cavolo Nero’ – Kale ‘Cavolo Nero’

Kale ‘Redbor’ – Kale ‘Redbor’

Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi ‘Kolibri’ F1 Hydrid

Climbing French Bean – Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Purple Podding Climbing’

Peas – Pisum ‘Green Hurst Shaft’

Peas – Pisum ‘Oskar’

Leek – Allium ampeloprasum

Purple Artichoke – Cynara scolymus ‘Purple Globe’

Sweet Cicely – Myrrhis odorata

Strawberry – Fragaria x ananassa

Wild Strawberry – Fragaria vesca

Bronze Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’

Lemon Balm – Melissa officinalis

Mint – Mentha x piperita ‘Chocolate’

Scots Lovage – Lingusticum scoticum

Chives – Allium schoenoprasum

Horseradish – Armoracia rusticana

Elderberry – Sambucus nigra

Chokeberry – Aronia melanocarpa

Barberry – Berberis vulgaris

Hawthorn – Crataegus monogyna

Japanese Silverberry – Eleagnus umbellata

Redcurrant – Ribes rubrum

Blueberry – Vaccinium corrembosum

Swedish Blueberry or Bilberry – Vaccinium myrtillus

Lingonberry – Vaccinium vitis-idaea ‘Firesballs’

Lingonberry – Vaccinium vitis-idaea ‘Miss Cherry

Lingonberry – Vaccinium vitis-idaea ‘Red Pearl’

Medlar – Mespilus germanica


Barley – Hordeum vulgare

Hops – Humulus lupulus

Woad – Isatis tinctoria

Woodbine – Lonicera japonica ‘Halliana’



Milk Thistle – Silybum marianum

Goats Rue – Galega officinalis


Curly Birch – Betula pendula var. carelica

Quince – Cydonia oblonga 



Strawberry – Fragaria x ananassa ‘Malling Centenary’

Dwarf Cherry Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum ‘Patio Plum’

Purple French Bean  – Phaseolus vulgaris  ‘Purple Teepee’

Black Chili Pepper – Capsicum annum ‘Vampire’

Sweet Pepper – Capsicum annum ‘Yellow Monster’

Affilla Cress – Pisum

Chili Cress – Raphanus

Basil Cress – Ocimum

Borage Cress – Borago

Daikon Cress – Raphanus

Ghoa Cress – Coriandrum

Rock Chives Cress – Allium

Sakura Cress – Raphanus

Scarlet Cress – Amaranthus

Vene Cress – Rumex

Shiso Purple Cress – Perilla

Zorri Cress – Tropaeolum

Red Romaine Lettuce – Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia

Green Romaine Lettuce – Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia

Lollo Ross Lettuce – Latuca sativa ‘Lollo Rossa’

Swiss Chard Rainbow – Beta vulgaris

Curly Kale – Brassica oleracea sabellica

Mavras Pepper – Mavras pepper

Mizuna – Brassica rapa nipposinica

Radicchio – Cichorium intybus var. foliosum

Pak Choi – Brassica rapa var. chinensis

Red Veined Sorrel – Rumex sanguineus

Spinach – Spinacia oleracea



Lemon Basil – Ocimum basilicum

Red Ruben Basil – Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens



Reishi – Ganoderma lucidum – MRCA (various)