This summer, the wild botanic garden of Wakehurst will be brought to life by a symphony of sounds, thanks to six large-scale and playful installations.
Set in the Sussex countryside, Wakehurst is the sister site of the renowned gardens at Kew. From July to September, Summer of Sound will amplify the noise of nature with forest megaphones, listening horns and some rather unusual woodpeckers.
Placed across the landscape, the installations by artists including Kathy Hinde, Marco Barotti and Birgit Õigus will inspire a greater connection to nature.
The installations at Wakehurst
So, what can you see during the Summer of Sound? There’s Birgit Õigus’ Forest Megaphones, amplifying the often-missed meadow noises. Listen in via the large wooden structures whilst you admire the carpet of flowers in Bloomers Valley.
Meanwhile, in Coates Wood, encounter an artistic interpretation of a Soundwave. This hand-crafted installation will be strung between the trees. It uses the movement of air around it to play instruments and is designed to encourage you to look up at the natural canopy above.
Marco Barotti’s installation of robotic birds, The Woodpeckers, explores the connection between technology and nature. You can find the birds in Bethlehem Wood and activate them with your smartphone. These quirky woodpeckers will also be popping up at Milton Keynes summer festival too!
In Wakehurst’s water garden you’ll find Kathy Hinde’s Water Balance installation. Metal tubes and gongs will use water to create chimes and other sounds. It’s not the only installation created by Hinde, as the Wetlands area will feature Listening Horns. These solar-powered horns will reveal some subaquatic sounds.
Finally, in Horsebridge Woods, you can hear Tim Southorn’s composition of natural sounds from Wakehurst. A great moment of tranquillity to end your visit with.
Like being close to nature? Check out these events!
When: 9 July – 12 September 2021, 10am – 6pm
Where: Wakehurst, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 6TN
£: Summer of Sound is included with admission to Wakehurst, which costs £12.50 for adults, £7.25 for young people, and is free for children and members. And you’ll need to book in advance.
More info: www.kew.org/wakehurst