With travel still tricky at best, the French luxury house Hermes has decided that if its London customers cannot visit the Mediterranean, it would bring the Mediterranean to them.
Just for the summer, it has transformed the terrace of its New Bond Street flagship in central London into an elegantly lush sculpture garden.
The work of landscape designer Sarah Price, who used a literal translation of Hermes’s own theme for 2022, “Hermes, A Human Odyssey," as inspiration, and looked to the flora of the Greek islands associated with Homer’s Odysseus.
Next, she turned to Fynbos, a belt of natural scrubland, that despite being in South Africa, shares the same climate and biome.
Gathering shrubs, flowers and herbs, Price has filled the space with planters that gracefully curve across the flagstones and overflow with hair clover, lavender, a hardy Afghani fig and vibrant lime euphorbias. To finish, Price added copious rockroses, or cistus, in pink and white.
A space for customers to enjoy a secluded tea, the focal point of the terrace is the sculpture, Draped Reclining Figure by the British artist Henry Moore.
While at present only visitors to Hermes can enjoy the calm space, once the terrace closes on Sunday, August 1, all of the plants will be donated to The Exchange, a non-profit community organisation, in south-east London.
With the Old Library in Bexley as its headquarters, The Exchange restored the once grand 1906 building, after it fell into disrepair and was abandoned. Returned to the heart of the local community once more, it is home to a cafe and restaurant, as well as a variety of pop-ups, including markets, concerts, exhibitions, festivals and workshops.