The world’s first tweeting garden

I met two ingenious guys at the Chelsea Flower Show, the Harfleet brothers, Paul and Tom, who introduced social media into a garden theme in collaboration with the University of Lincoln – winning a coveted gold medal too – by designing the world’s first tweeting garden called Digital Capabilities.

It certainly attracted considerable interest. They took a huge gamble too as many of the traditional visitors may not be familiar with tweeting, but those who were and had smartphones were stunned by its creativity and use of technology.

In this audioboo interview, Paul (with the orange specs) describes how his unique garden works.

“The garden is connected to Twitter. Each mention of the words RHS, Chelsea or garden sends a command to the panels to open or close. It also has its own Twitter account @DigCapabilities and you can tweet the word snap and get a pic sent back to you.”

The display has traditional planting in the front of the electronic panels and exotic tropical and sub-tropical plants behind which are revealed for all to see and also sent to you as a tweet pic when following the command. It really works too, the closed panels open up to reveal a secret garden when the words are tweeted. It was great fun!

The planting represents the world of the internet, moderated and revealed by our desire for knowledge and interaction. It highlights the contract between analogue and digital.

Full credit also to the architecture students at Lincoln who designed the interactive white box, based on the Harfleet brothers’ conceptual garden Pansy Project at RHS Hampton Court 2010.