Surviving or Thriving – An exhibition on plants and us

West Sussex


Wakehurst, Ardingly, West Sussex, RH17 6TN

Tel: 01444894067

Surviving or Thriving – An exhibition on plants and us


• Opening 22nd March 2019 at the Millennium Seed Bank Atrium Gallery at Wakehurst
• Based on research from Kew's pioneering State of the World's Plants and Fungi reports
• Exhibition includes five monumental laser cut trees, each showcasing a specific tree species and the threats they face: including the Vietnamese cyprus, of which there are only 21 left in the wild
• Head into the beautiful Wakehurst landscape to meet the real-life counterparts to the laser cut trees
• Visit the 2050 show garden to see what UK gardens are projected to look like in the future

Surviving or Thriving – An exhibition on plants and us is Wakehurst's newest exhibition. It asks the question: In a rapidly changing world, which plants will survive, and which will thrive? And what does this mean for us?

The exhibition, which opens on 22 March 2019 at Wakehurst in Ardingly, West Sussex, is a retelling of the landmark State of the World's Plants reports produced by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and international partners. The reports and the exhibition focus on which plants are vulnerable to global threats such as climate change, disease, and pests, and what, if anything can be done to help them.

Using objects, videos and interactive models, Surviving or Thriving showcases the most up to date research on new plant discoveries, innovations in genome sequencing, and the possible solutions to meet global challenges.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

• A sculptural display of five tree species and the threats they face – Each species is grown at Wakehurst, but globally they are facing challenges to their survival. The trees are made of laser cut cardboard to reduce the environmental impact of the exhibition.

• A show garden displaying some of the plants Wakehurst horticulturists have identified as best suited to a changing British climate, showing what UK gardens might need to look like in 2050

• Trafficked plant products seized by Border Force which showcase the illegal trade in plant products

• A Lego model of an Aspergillus fungi, which is used to make plastics, including some used in Lego

• An interactive touch screen display which lets visitors see inside a Cavendish banana and one of its wild relatives.

Colin Clubbe, Head of Conservation and Senior Scientist says, "It is thrilling to see this exhibition here at Wakehurst. Plants are the foundation of the world's ecosystems and hold the potential to tackle some of our most pressing issues such as climate change and food security. I hope this exhibition will encourage the conversation about what we need to protect and conserve as we look towards the future."


Map & Directions

Opening Times

Season (22 Mar 2019 - 1 Sept 2020)
Monday - Sunday10:00 - 04:00

What's Nearby

  1. Wakehurst

    Stunning photos of magnificent botanic gardens owned by Kew & all you may wish to know…

    0.11 miles away
  2. South of England Centre, Ardingly

    Major shows are organised throughout the year, including the Society's flagship event the…

    0.9 miles away
  3. The Priest House

    The Priest House sits on the western edge of Ashdown Forest in the picturesque high Weald…

    1.51 miles away
  1. Tulleys Farm

    Farm Shop, Butchery, Gift Barn. Tea Room, Garden & Play Area. PYO, Seasonal Events,…

    2.69 miles away
  2. Blackland Farm Activity Centre

    Outdoor activity centre offering:
    canoeing, climbing, archery, abseiling, crate…

    2.78 miles away
  3. Borde Hill Garden

    A historical formal Garden, woodlands, lakes, parkland and adventure playground.


    3.2 miles away
  4. Wings Aviation Museum

    A fascinating in-sight into life during World War Two. Each artefact or item of…

    3.5 miles away
  5. High Beeches Woodland and Water Garden

    High Beeches Woodland and Water Garden is a beautiful, tranquil and historic garden of…

    3.93 miles away
  6. Go Ape at Tilgate Park

    Go Ape is all about getting out in the open, having fun and being more adventurous.

    4.33 miles away
  7. Nymans

    One of the great Gardens of the Sussex Weald with a collection of rare and beautiful…

    4.79 miles away
  8. Cats Protection National Cat Centre

    A trip to the National Cat Centre, set in delightful woodland, is a memorable experience…

    4.92 miles away
  9. Wych Cross Nursery Ltd

    One of the largest retail selections of roses in the country with 1000 varieties. Also a…

    4.97 miles away
  10. Heaven Farm Museum

    Historic farm on A275, 1 mile south of Danehill near the Bluebell Railway and Sheffield…

    5.06 miles away
  11. The Llama Park

    Llamas, alpacas and reindeer. Play area, information barn. Coffee shop serving light…

    5.21 miles away
  12. Sackville College

    A beautiful stone Jacobean almshouse round a quadrangle. Galleried Founder's Hall with…

    5.5 miles away
  13. Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club

    Founded in December 1888, it is one of the longest established golf clubs in Sussex. A…

    5.89 miles away
Previous Next