Grant Associates designs garden for 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Expo

Grant Associates is to create a permanent exhibition garden on behalf of the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) for the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exposition.

Taking place in China’s capital from 29th April – 7th October 2019, the exposition is one the largest horticultural trade events in the world with organisers expecting around 16 million visitors.

2019’s event will take the theme ‘Live Green Live Better’ and aims to demonstrate ecological concepts and disseminate green ideas. These principles will be expressed through a variety of exhibition gardens by some of the world’s most celebrated landscape and garden designers.

The design of Grant Associates’ garden, entitled ‘The Rewilding Garden’, is inspired by AIPH’s mission to act as an international champion for the power of plants to enhance the world.   

Covering a total of 1500 m2, The Rewilding Garden introduces visitors to the AIPH’s ‘Green City Principles’ initiative which promotes the benefits of integrating nature into cities.

Designed using sustainable landscape strategies, the Rewilding Garden aims to spark visitors’ interest, curiosity and delight in the nature, as well as demonstrate how nature can flourish in an urban context.

Other garden exhibits at the event include designs by West 8 (the Netherlands); SLA/Stig Anderson (Denmark); Tom Stuart-Smith (Britain); Kazuyuki Ishihara (Japan) and George Hargreaves (USA).

After the Expo, these ‘International Designers Creative Gardens’ and the AIPH Garden will remain at the show site in Beijing, becoming a permanent showcase for international, horticultural standards in the 21st century.

Full details about the Rewilding Garden are below:

The Rewilding Garden

Arrival kiosk. Visitors begin their journey at a welcome kiosk that leads through to a display about the core values of sustainable and biophilic design. An edible wall demonstrates how plants can thrive in peat-free soil, with some plants growing without any soil at all in nutrient rich water (an example of hydroponics).


Urban Healing Forest Garden. Visitors are immersed in greenery as they continue along an elevated boardwalk through an ‘urban forest’. Information boards explain how the surrounding trees and plants not only clean the air, soil and water, but also promote wellbeing by bringing people into closer contact with nature. A sequence of seating ‘snugs’ further enhance visitors’ immersive experience, providing space to sit and relax, and learn more about the work of the AIHP.

Rain Garden. This area within the urban forest showcases sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) that creatively manage and clean urban run-off, helping to sustain a biodiverse rich habitat.

Pollination Meadow. Full of colour and contrasting textures, the meadow demonstrates how cities can provide a biodiverse habitat for birds, bees and butterflies. The selected plant species are low management, suited to urban environments and adaptive to climate change.

Flower Pavilion. Inspired by the shape of a chrysanthemum, the official flower of Beijing, the pavilion juxtaposes AIPH’s ‘intellectual’ messages with emotionally evocative artworks. These include suspended flower displays, a horticultural inspired floor graphic and a digital display providing information on green cities. The pavilion measures eight meters in diameter.

“It’s a privilege and honour to be chosen by the AIPH to design its garden for such a prestigious event. The 2019 Beijing International Horticultural is a valuable opportunity for the organisation to broadcast its core messages to an international audience. Our aim is for the Rewilding Garden to inspire horticultural experts and the general public to reconnect with, and experience, nature in distinctive and meaningful ways. We hope to show that nature can flourish in our cities, providing a multitude of benefits from improved water management and cleaner air, to habitat for pollinators and a sense of wellbeing for people.”

Peter Chmiel, Director at Grant Associates

“Grant Associates clearly understands what we want to achieve with this garden. The design helps to demonstrate the Green City principles that we work hard to promote and helps to showcase inspiring solutions for cities of the future. Developing the garden’s design concept has been an enjoyable process and I am looking forward to experiencing the end result.”

Tim Briercliffe, Secretary General at AIPH
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About Grant Associates

Grant Associates is a pioneering international landscape architecture practice. Our work reconnects people with nature in insightful, delightful and distinctive ways whilst addressing the global challenges of urbanisation, the climate crisis and biodiversity extinction.

Our design process is underpinned by a knowledge of human behaviour, nature and ecological science combined with innovative design technology. We bring original thinking, creative collaboration and are exploring what regenerative design and the circular economy means to landscape architecture.

Our varied portfolio includes ambitious large-scale, landmark projects through to small, local ventures.