Homebase Garden Academy student Nicola Oakey to build her first RHS Show garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live

Milton Keynes, 2015-5-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — Homebase Garden Academy student, Nicola Oakey, is about to build her first RHS Show garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live (11 – 14 June).

Nicola, who started the Academy in September 2014, successfully submitted a design for the ‘Beautiful Borders’ category of the show. The design had to be inspired by the ‘Industrial Heritage of the West Midlands’, so Nicola took this opportunity to celebrate the amazing pottery industry that has flourished in the area, notably Spode and Wedgewood.

“I can’t wait to bring my design to life”, said Nicola. “The Garden Academy visits Barnsdale Gardens every month to receive RHS training. It is really inspiring to spend so much time there and really fitting that it is where Geoff Hamilton filmed Gardener’s World.”

The border, although just 3x3m in size, will be packed full of exciting planting and many pottery-inspired features. An eye-catching focal point will be three Salix that have been woven into bold living columns. Their shape is reminiscent of the chimneys of bottle-oven kilns, which would have dominated the industrial skyline. Standing like living monuments to the pottery industry and the world-famous willow pattern.

If the commitment of organising a Show garden was not enough, Nicola is also going to make three bespoke stepping-stones that will cross the border. Made out of broken blue and white ceramics, the stepping stones will act as a beautiful, but poignant reminder of the factories where men, women and children tirelessly worked.

Nicola’s planting scheme is simple and elegant with hints of an English cottage garden. Her border has a blue and white colour scheme; timeless colours associated with well-known potteries and will contain bold drifts of herbaceous planting interspersed with a lush carpet of creeping groundcover.

Homebase’s Garden Academy scheme is now in its second year and is growing from strength to strength. It offers young people the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of horticulture and receive all the relevant training and support they need to pursue a career in it. The students spend a year working full time in their local Homebase Garden Centre and have monthly training from Chelsea gold medallist Adam Frost. Students also visit a wide variety of horticultural suppliers and study toward a RHS Level 1 Award qualification.

“Designing and building a Beautiful Border is a great way to learn about what it takes to build a show garden, without being overwhelmed by the size of the space,” said Nicola. “The Garden Academy is lucky enough to be helping Adam Frost build his RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden this year; an invaluable experience, which should really help me during Gardener’s World Live.”

Adam Frost, who founded the Academy alongside Homebase said: “What an amazing achievement! Nicola should be proud that her design has been selected to be displayed at BBC Gardener’s World Live, I have no doubt this is the first of many accolades she will go on to achieve.”

Gardener’s World Live attracts over 100,000 visitors and takes place at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham from the 11 – 14 June.

ENDS

Note to Editors:
For more information, please contact the Homebase Press Office on 0845 120 4365 or email media.relations@homebase.co.uk .

Follow us @Homebase_PR.

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 58 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 296 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2015, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 17,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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Homebase Garden Academy student Nicola Oakey to build her first RHS Show garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live

Homebase Garden Academy student Nicola Oakey to build her first RHS Show garden at BBC Gardener’s World Live

Homebase: The Garden Academy returns for its third consecutive year to offer young people opportunity to kick start a career in gardening

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-5-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — A ground-breaking training scheme is returning for its third consecutive year to offer young people a once in a lifetime opportunity to kick start a career in gardening.

The Garden Academy was set up in 2013 between Homebase and multiple award-winning garden designer Adam Frost to help raise the profile of a career in gardening and inspire the gardening talent of the future.

The  12-month programme will offer 40 people aged 16 and above the chance to spend time learning from Adam about garden planning and design, work with key partners and suppliers to develop detailed product knowledge covering planting and landscaping, as well as learning practical horticultural skills to earn a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Level 1 Award.

At other times, students will be working full-time at Homebase stores up and down the country, putting what they’re learning into practice by helping customers make the most of their outside space.

Garden Academy mentor, Adam Frost explained the thinking behind the programme: “It can be challenging for our industry to attract young people to gardening and show them that it can be an exciting career.

“Over the last two years the Garden Academy students have really impressed me with how much they’ve achieved – especially putting all of the skills they’ve learnt into practice by helping me build two Homebase show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

“The Academy is a fantastic opportunity for people from different backgrounds and ages to come together to share their passion for gardening and the outdoors and develop it into a great career.”

Graham Heald, Retail Director for Homebase, said: “The Garden Academy has been a great success over the last two years and we’re delighted to be able to offer young people such a fantastic opportunity for the third year running.

“Being able to support and train the future talent of our industry is really important to us. A few of our previous academy students have gone on to work within our plant buying teams, and one of our first year students Kate Saville, is a finalist in this year’s RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year competition, which is an amazing achievement.

“As well as learning and training with some of the best in the business, all students who complete the training scheme will be offered a permanent job at Homebase. “

Sarah Cathcart, RHS Head of Education and Learning, said: “The RHS passionately supports young people starting a career in horticulture, and I’m delighted that the Homebase Garden Academy is using RHS Qualifications to develop the skills of their students. With a shortage of trained and skilled horticulturalists, schemes such as this are key to encouraging the next generation to understand the breadth of careers in horticulture, the exciting opportunities and the immense value to our wider society.”

To apply for a chance to be one of 40 places on the Garden Academy, visit www.homebasegardenacademy.com before Sunday 21 June 2015. Successful applicants will be invited to assessment days in July.

 

ENDS

Notes to Editors:
For more information contact, Media Relations, tel: 0845 120 4365, email: media.relations@homebase.co.uk

For all the latest news and images visit www.homeretailgroup.com/news-and-media

Follow us on twitter @Homebase_PR

About Homebase 
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 58 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 296 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2015, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 17,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

About Homebase Garden Academy:
The Homebase Garden Academy is a pioneering scheme set up between Homebase and award-winning garden designer Adam Frost to help raise the profile of a career in gardening, and inspire gardening talent of the future.

The scheme offers apprentices a broad experience of gardening and horticulture. Each month, time will be spent learning from Adam about garden planning and design; a key partner to develop detailed product knowledge covering planting and landscaping; and learning practical horticultural skills to earn a Royal Horticultural Society Level 1 Award.

About the RHS Level 1 Award in Practical Horticulture
Aimed at anyone with an interest in plants and gardening, the RHS Level 1 Award is a practical qualification that seeks to inspire learners and focuses on developing essential horticultural skills. The Award supports and encourages students to develop their horticultural potential and prepares them to progress towards Level 2 and 3 qualifications offered by RHS Qualifications and other awarding bodies.

With an emphasis on showcasing the diverse opportunities a career in horticulture can provide, from hands-on gardener to research scientist, the RHS offers a range of educational choices for anyone wanting to develop their horticultural knowledge and skills. There are no formal entry requirements for RHS qualifications at levels 1 or 2, and all qualifications are designed for part-time study at home or at one of more than 90 centres throughout the UK and Ireland.

For more information on educational opportunities and qualifications offered by the RHS, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning

 

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Homebase: The Garden Academy returns for its third consecutive year to offer young people opportunity to kick start a career in gardening

Homebase: The Garden Academy returns for its third consecutive year to offer young people opportunity to kick start a career in gardening

The Homebase Urban Retreat Garden awarded Gold Medal at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-5-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Homebase Urban Retreat Garden has been awarded a Gold Medal at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The garden, designed by award-winning garden designer Adam Frost, is an urban community garden inspired by the Bauhaus movement. It is one of only seven gardens to be awarded a Gold Medal at this year’s show, giving Adam his seventh Chelsea Gold Medal and his third for Homebase.

Adam said: “I’m thrilled to have won a Gold Medal for Homebase for a garden that means a great deal to me.  I wanted to design something that reflected the design principles of the modernist movement and one that encapsulated a spirit of community living reminiscent of that period.

“Winning Gold is a huge thrill for me, but I’m particularly delighted for the 18 students from the Homebase Garden Academy who helped me build the garden. After six months of teaching them and seeing their passion for gardening blossom, it was wonderful to have them on the garden with me and it’s fantastic to be able to share a Gold Medal with all of them.”

Designed as a space for the whole community, where people can come together and enjoy community life, the Urban Retreat garden celebrates the bold design principles of the early 20th century design movement, by incorporating modernist materials including concrete and corten steel, with simple geometric shapes.

Planted with a palette of flowers and shrubs chosen to attract wildlife, and incorporating seating, paddling pools and a striking cedar clad building, the garden is one that sits comfortably within an urban setting and in which both the local community and wildlife can flourish.

Jon Kemp, Homebase Trading Director for Garden, said: “Being part of the Chelsea Flower Show is always a wonderful experience. Adam’s Urban Retreat Garden is testament to his outstanding talent for garden design. I was never in any doubt that it would win us a fourth consecutive Gold Medal and I’m thrilled to accept it on behalf of Adam, the Homebase Garden Academy students and everyone else who worked so hard to bring such a fantastic garden to life.”

A collection of plants inspired by The Urban Retreat Garden will be on sale in Homebase stores and online until June 2015. The Chelsea collection, handpicked by the team of plant specialists at Homebase, includes plants that feature on the Urban Retreat Garden alongside others that have been inspired by it.

ENDS

Note to Editors:
For more information please contact Suzanne Hind suzanne@suzannehind.com or Theresa Osen theresa@suzannehind.com.  Tel: +44 (0) 207 502 8505  or +44 (0) 7813 208 168.

The Homebase press office can be contacted on 0845 120 4365 or Media.relations@homebase.co.uk

Follow us @Homebase PR.

For news, images and information visit our online media centre at www.homeretailgroup.com/news-and-media

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 58 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden. It has 296 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2015, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 17,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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The Homebase Urban Retreat Garden awarded Gold Medal at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show

The Homebase Urban Retreat Garden awarded Gold Medal at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Homebase: Garden designer Adam Frost returns to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2015 with a striking modernist garden inspired by the Bauhaus movement

Milton Keynes, UK, 2015-1-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Multi award-winning garden designer Adam Frost returns to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2015 with a striking modernist garden inspired by the Bauhaus movement and the work of one of its most famous proponents, Marcel Breuer.

Designed as an urban community garden, The Homebase Urban Retreat Garden will celebrate the striking design principles of the early 20th century design movement, by incorporating modernist materials such as concrete and corten steel, with simple geometric shapes to create a garden that sits comfortably within an urban setting and in which the local community and wildlife can flourish.

Adam describes the design for The Homebase Garden as blending the structures of the urban environment with the softness of nature to show how green space can be successfully incorporated into our towns and cities. Referencing the Bauhaus movement he said:  “Much of the modernist housing designed by architects of that period was created around community landscape and gardens. Bauhaus promised a reunion of man with nature through community living and it’s this spirit that I want to reflect in The Homebase Garden.”

The layout will have a strong architectural form with a dynamic backbone that combines linear concrete walls with geometric hedging breaking the space into clearly defined water, lawn and planting divisions.

Designed as a space for the whole community, where people can come together and enjoy community life, Adam has incorporated two striking water walls in the form of pressed steel leading into long pools of water that can double as paddling pools in summer. A series of layered cedar wood rings will provide seating throughout the garden.

The architectural focal point at the rear of the garden will be a striking corten steel structure set among a bed of tree ferns. Designed to represent a modernist building, the frame will create an unexpected insect hotel and home for birds and wildlife.

In front, a commanding cedar-clad building will provide a unique viewing area from its roof offering a second perspective of the garden looking down over the layouts and the sculptural form of six imposing Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura) trees. Covered with a new mix of wildflower turf seen for the first time at RHS Chelsea, the roof will provide another haven for wildlife including a colony of honey bees housed in a Bauhaus-inspired cedar beehive with corten steel roof.

Planting and wildlife

The planting palette has been designed with wildlife in mind. Simple, fragrant plants that allow insects to flourish including Irises, Geraniums, Deschampsia and Digitalis, will sit alongside Taxus domes which provide nesting space for insects and birds and Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura) trees which act as a source of food for the resident bees. Grasses and wildflowers will bring a softness to the urban setting while two impressive tree ferns positioned behind the corten steel and cedar-clad building will add a structural element to the palette.

Colours will be rich and earthy, moving from deep crimson to burnt orange to reflect the orange-brown patina of corten steel whilst the lush green foliage of the ferns and hedging will stand out against the imposing backdrop of the concrete framework.

Materials

Drawing on the raw industrial materials favoured by architects of the Bauhaus movement, the garden will feature smooth poured concrete, corten steel and cedar, which typified buildings and home furnishings of that era.

Cedar cladding will lend a different, softer character to the garden punctuating the boldness of the concrete and steel and emphasizing the vertical lines of the space, while a long boarded path winding through the centre of the garden echoes the curves seen on some of the most iconic Bauhaus buildings and highlights the value of incorporating wildlife corridors into our urban environments.

Adam said: ‘‘The whole ethos of the Bauhaus movement was to create remarkable looking products that were simple in design and that could be easily replicated from the basic starting point of geometric shapes. I’ve designed the Homebase garden to reference the Bauhaus with the inclusion of modern design styles, something that anyone can do in their own garden and that lends itself in particular to an urban setting.”

The Homebase Garden Academy

Students from the recently launched Homebase Garden Academy will be working alongside Adam to create the garden. The pioneering programme, now in its second year, was set up to help Britain’s next generation of gardeners’ kick-start their career. Putting into practice the skills they have learnt since joining in September 2014, the scheme’s latest intake of students will help Adam build the garden when it arrives on site at the RHS Chelsea showground in May 2015.

Adam continued: “I’m delighted that students from the Homebase Academy will once again be helping me to bring the garden to life. My hope is that the garden will encourage aspiring gardeners to create their own version and by doing so, encourage the growth of both our urban communities and wildlife.”

Jon Kemp, Head of Garden at Homebase, said: “We’re very excited to unveil the 2015 Homebase garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and to be working once again with Adam Frost. Adam has an outstanding pedigree in garden design and has already created two exceptional Gold medal-winning gardens for us at the Show. We’re confident this year’s garden will be another huge success.”

The Homebase Chelsea Collection

To coincide with the Chelsea Flower Show, Homebase will be bringing back it’s Chelsea Collection – a range of plants, garden ornaments and garden furniture inspired by Adam’s garden and available in store from April – July 2015.

The 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show runs from 18 – 22 May 2015.

 

ENDS

Note to Editors:
For more information or a full plant list please contact Suzanne Hind suzanne@suzannehind.com or Theresa Osen theresa@suzannehind.com.  Tel: +44 (0) 207 502 8505  or +44 (0) 7813 208 168.

The Homebase press office can be contacted on 0845 120 4365 or Media.relations@homebase.co.uk

Follow us @Homebase PR.

For news, images and information visit our online media centre at www.homeretailgroup.com/news-and-media

 

About Homebase
Homebase is a leading home enhancement retailer with around 60 million transactions a year, selling around 38,000 products for the home and garden.  It has 316 large, out-of-town stores throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland and a growing internet offering at www.homebase.co.uk. In the financial year to February 2014, Homebase sales were £1.5 billion and it employed some 18,000 people across the business.

Homebase is part of Home Retail Group, the UK’s leading home and general merchandise retailer.

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