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Client: Emily State Garden

Walking around in paradise. Who wouldn’t want to? In the exhibition The story of Gardening it can be done. Hidden in ancient forests, the […]

Walking around in paradise. Who wouldn’t want to? In the exhibition The story of Gardening it can be done. Hidden in ancient forests, the Somerset Estate forms the backdrop for a special experience in which visitors are taken to paradisiacal gardens from all over the world. In collaboration with Kossmann De Jong, IJsfontein designed and developed the interactive elements of this sensory exhibition.

Stroll through 9 different gardens

The word “garden” comes from the Indo-Germanic language and literally means “enclosed area. This fact forms the main structure of the exhibition: an enormous green hedge in which nine different gardens are hidden. Through openings in the hedge you step into a different world each time.

Unique location based ‘guide’

Each visitor is given a multimedia guide with headphones. This guide is your personal guide and is location specific. This means that you as a visitor are offered information depending on the location where you are. So what you see connects seamlessly with what you hear. Moreover, the guide offers you the opportunity to participate in the interactives at exactly the right moment. In this way visitors are effortlessly immersed in ‘the Story of Gardening’. Moreover, the guide offers various layers of information. So you decide for yourself how deeply you want to dive into the subject matter.


In addition to the garden rooms, there are several exhibits and interactives that cover the basic elements of gardening: earth, atmosphere, plants, animals and colors. For these exhibits we designed several interactives that appeal to all the senses.

Communicating with sand

In the earth exhibit, for example, you learn to understand the “science” of soil by literally digging in the sand and looking for stories. By moving the sand from one place to another you communicate with the game and learn about different types of soil, fertilizers and the needs of plants.

Animals and colors

In the animals exhibit, visitors listen to stories of animals in the garden. Bees, worms, salamanders and birds tell what they do in the garden, their impact and how they use the garden for food and shelter. The stories are told from the animal’s perspective. By solving riddles and looking closely, the visitor finds out what role an animal fulfills in the garden. In the color exhibit visitors scroll through the seasons and see plants and colors change. They also experience how these different colors influence the design of the garden.

World Gardens in VR

Gardens are everywhere, each continent has its own climate, constraints, opportunities and style. With VR, walk through world-famous gardens around the world such as the Tivoli Gardens in Rome or the Monet Garden in Giverny.

Garden Tools

A fantastic collection of garden tools is displayed on the long back wall. Visitors can interact with these and find out which tools were used in which time for which purpose.

Experience it yourself?

The exhibition is on display at the Newt in Somerset in England