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The Homebase Garden

Designed as an urban community garden, The Homebase Urban Retreat Garden by garden designer Adam Frost celebrates 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.

The Homebase Garden

The garden blends 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. The layout has 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.

The Homebase Garden

The architectural focal point at the rear of the garden is a striking corten steel structure set among a bed of tree ferns. Designed to represent a modernist building, the frame creates an unexpected insect hotel and home for birds and wildlife. In front, a commanding cedar-clad building provides 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 provides 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 Homebase Garden

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 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 are 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 stand out against the imposing backdrop of the concrete framework.

Plant list

Angelica archangelica
Aquilegia alpina
Aquilegia var stellata 'Ruby Port'
Aquilegia var. stellata 'Black Barlow'
Asarum europaeum
Athyrium filix-femina
Athyrium filix-femina
Blechnum spicant
Briza media 'Limouzi'
Carex flacca
Carex grayi
Carex sylvatica
Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum'
Deschampsia cespitosa
Dicksonia antarctica
Digitalis purpurea 'Pam's Choice'
Dryopteris affinis 'Cristata The King'
Dryopteris filix-mas
Dryopteris linearis
Dryopteris wallichiana
Euonymus alatus 'Compactus'
Euphorbia pallustris
Euphorbia robbiae cornigera
Geranium phaeum 'Samobor'
Geranium sylvatica
Geranium sylvatica 'Mayflower'
Geum 'Marmalade'
Geum 'Totally Tangerine'
Geum rivale
Gymnocarpum dryopteris
Hakonechloa macra
Hosta 'Devon Green'
Hosta 'Royal Standard'
Iris germanica 'Sultan's Palace'
Iris sibirica 'Caesar's Brother'
Iris sibirica 'Tamberg'
Luzula nivea
Luzula nivea
Myrrhis odorata
Myrrhis odorata
Osmunda regalis
Rheum palmatum var. tanguticum
Soleirolia soleirolii
Taxus baccata
Tiarella cordifolia
Verbascum 'Clementine'
Verbascum 'Cotswold Queen'