SMLA is proud to be a Kew Patron, actively supporting the work of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Kew is home to the largest, most spectacular and globally diverse plant collection in the world. The plants grow in wonderful combinations and an enormous variety of separate and very distinctive garden spaces, where they are set against a backdrop of ancient trees, lakes, follies and glasshouses. These things are entertaining for the visitor, but Kew is underpinned by rigorous intellectual purpose.
It is internationally renowned as a centre for botanical research, with a particular focus on the conservation of endangered plant species all over the world. The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership conserves seeds as an insurance against extinction in their native habitat, and the herbarium contains over 7 million specimens and plays a central role in research into plant conservation.
Kew’s library is used by students at the School of Horticulture and thousands of visitors every year. Stefano and the SMLA team use Kew Gardens as an extension of their own studio, observing the behaviours of plants throughout the year, drawing inspiration from planting schemes and designs, and taking photographs and detailed notes.