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10 March 2016
Providing a Space Where People Can Connect.
Adam Frost returned to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May 2015 following a Gold Medal win for Homebase with his design ‘A Time to Reflect’ in 2014. We caught up with Adam Frost to talk about design inspiration, using the garden and outside space to enhance your home and the trends, which are likely to evolve during 2016. Recognised as the Designers Designer, Adam’s Chelsea Flower Show journey has taken him from his first self-financed garden in 2007 to his winning shows for Homebase over the past 3 years.
Taking inspiration from the modernist architect Marcel Breuer, the 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden designed for Homebase, represented the balance of nature and the manmade environment- something Adam believes to be a fundamental start point for modern garden design.
The three main materials of the garden were Portland cement concrete, corten steel and cedar; a reflection of the imagined urban landscape. With mainly oriental style, wildlife-friendly planting, Adam’s design this year won him his 5th consecutive Gold Medal win at the show- his 7th gold medal in total. We caught up with Adam to understand a little more about making the very best of your home’s outdoor space.
“Garden design in the home environment is not about producing some wonderful art form. Of course, creating something that is beautiful and inspiring is important but it’s more about how a space can work to create special places where everyone from the house wants to be. The very best gardens just get better as they grow. My aim with a garden is to give the owners hours of enjoyment throughout the seasons.”
“Designing a garden, whether it’s for Chelsea or anywhere else is about understanding the space you have and what you want the garden to be. Is it a thoughtful, tranquil space? Somewhere to entertain? Or for the kids to play? Or for growing vegetables? A garden can include all of these, but knowing what’s wanted is essential from day one. It’s easiest to break things down into two lists, which I name Practical and Individual. When I’m working with people, it’s getting to know them and how they live. I never lift a pen until I have spent time understanding all of these varied needs from my clients. For me there are four things to consider when it comes to designing gardens: people, plants, space and place."
“Providing a space where people can stop, connect with nature and spend time gardening with the family is my hope for the garden in 2016. The developing recognition that gardening is great for the health may see the garden become the new gym for many people in the future.”
“Incorporating colour and carefully thought out uses for the space you have will turn any garden into additional living areas for the family and your friends to enjoy. Be creative. Embrace colour and find inspiration in what is around you. At that point, your garden becomes an extension of the inside of your home, a reflection of you and a space comfortable in its own environment.”
“Maximising the design is about being a bit clever with levels, using retaining walls, built-in furniture, extra outdoor storage and not over-complicating the space. Taking a lead from the architecture is the key to making sure your design ties back to the house and looks like it’s meant to be there. In any garden it is important to consider boundaries as part of the design”
Adam launched the Homebase groundbreaking Garden Academy Scheme in September 2013 to inspire young people into gardening as a career. A number of the young apprentices worked alongside Adam during the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show development and Adam is delighted to have welcomed 40 new recruits in September 2015 to begin their 18-month apprenticeship.
With his first book, Real Gardens, published in September 2015, Adam tells the story of the creation of each of his seven gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show and reveals tips and information to allow the enthusiast to create their own great spaces.
“I believe we should all find the time as we all have the ability to create somewhere special. It does not have to be a show garden, just somewhere you can enjoy with your partner, kids, friends or family. Gardens can be such special places; they feed the soul.”