RHS Chelsea 2012
RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2012 saw us constructing and maintaining a show garden for Homebase Retail Stores and their Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden. We worked with garden designer and TV personality, Joe Swift, his first time at Chelsea designing a show garden. The Judges awarded Joe a Gold Medal and it was runner up in the RHS People's Choice show garden, a marvellous achievement.
The garden drew cultural inspiration from Joe’s local area of Hackney in London. He designed the garden to capture the power of plants and natural forms within urban and suburban environments.
Joe said: “I was thrilled to be designing my first garden, for Homebase, at Chelsea. Inspiration has been drawn from the contrast and juxtaposition of the different areas I pass in and around the city, leading me to develop the garden with an urban oasis feel.”
Joe’s design of stone and wood provided texture and contrast, appearing in stylised forms. Oversized horizontally sliced boulders and wooden sculptures decorate and punctuated the space, as well as provide garden seating to relax and enjoy the garden from. The stone has all been sourced from a single quarry in Yorkshire, with many of the plants also coming from the UK.
The sustainable garden consisted of trees such as Multi stemmed Cornus Mas with an umbrella of around 3 to 4m; Prunus ‘Amber beauty’ with 25 to 30cm girth alongside a London Plane tree of 50 to 60cm girth which were selected for their sculptural forms, interesting colour and texture of their bark. Evergreen shrubby plants added solidity and a hint of the Mediterranean to the dry planting palette, while textural foliage and perennials inject shots of colour throughout.
The warm colour tones of gold, orange, acid yellow and splashes of burgundy brought the dark and mid greens of the garden’s base foliage to life. Combined with the yellow stone, the garden infused a feeling of freshness and originality.