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Building the Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012
What we did
For the 2012 RHS Chelsea Flower Show we teamed up with celebrated garden designer Joe Swift to create the ‘Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden’. The garden uses Homebase’s expertise in horticulture to celebrate the positive benefits gained from gardening and creating an inspiring outdoor space. Homebase has used the opportunity of a Show Garden at this prestigious event to inspire gardeners over the country to have a go and recreate a bit of the ‘Chelsea Magic’ within their own gardens as well as providing a platform for the Teenage Cancer Trust to encourage visitors to interact with the garden and recognise the power of plants.
Why we did it
Gardening is an important part of the Homebase business and Homebase sells over 100 million plants a year, stocking over 500 varieties of fruit, herbs, vegetable plants and seeds.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the most famous gardening event in the world and Homebase is proud to be exhibiting there and giving its customers’ confidence via the ‘Chelsea collection’ to create a bit of Chelsea magic in their own back garden. The ‘Chelsea Collection’ is a range of plants on sale in Homebase stores influenced by the planting scheme for the ‘Homebase Teenage Cancer Trust Garden’. The plants are all hardy so will survive year after year and are covered by Homebase’s five year plant guarantee on hardy plants. Both the size and the feel of the garden are intended to represent a typical urban garden that seeks to create an oasis in an outdoor space.
Homebase is also proud of its partnership with the Teenage Cancer Trust which - since July 2010 - has raised over £3m for the charity through the generosity and ingenuity of its colleagues and customers. Homebase was particularly struck by the similarities in thinking that the Teenage Cancer Trust uses when planning the space of the Teenage Cancer Trust wings and the design principles used when designing a garden. The five principles that were used when designing the garden were:
Personalisation –the garden is an extension of the home and the look and feel can be personalised by the plant selection
Stimulation – combine colours and textures and evoke an emotional response
Connected – reconnect with nature
Control – keep the planting simple and easy to look after
Comfort – build an oasis that is a pleasure to be in.
For these reasons, it seemed a very natural fit to celebrate Homebase’s gardening heritage and our partnership with the Teenage Cancer Trust in this garden.
How we did it
Joe Swift spent 100 days designing, planning and building the garden. Over the 19 day build, 3,700 man hours were spent on site. A team of Homebase store colleagues was hand-picked to help Joe to build the garden at Chelsea. They all received a day’s training with Joe at the landscapers in Kent before the on-site build began.
One of the store colleagues who attended this day has said: “What a wonderful, enlightening, great team building day it was meeting Joe Swift and the guys from Hortus. I never stopped smiling or talking all day. There really couldn't have been a better way of empowering us with the passion, knowledge and professionalism that these guys hold. And, of course, perfect for bonding with the other lucky colleagues from around the Company. I think I can speak for the whole team when I say that we all left feeling uplifted and exhilarated hearing what a great part we will be playing in such a prestigious project.”
Joe has also been getting involved with the Teenage Cancer Trust and held a gardening workshop at the Royal Marsden Hospital on 20 April.
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