The Lemon Tree Trust Garden

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Did you know...

  • The traditional Islamic influence can be seen in the star shaped water feature, radiating water rills and elaborate metal and wood fretwork screens. The materials used would be available to refugees in the camp
  • Some of the most inspiring take home features from this garden are ones that were created from ideas seen at the refugee camp; the food plants in tin cans and recycled plastic bottles attached to a wall as well as the brilliant planted up building block wall
  • The planting is an interesting mixture including pomegranate trees, single roses, alliums and dazzling blue flowered Anchusa. The impressive fruiting and flowering lemon tree used in this garden was in fact also used in a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2017, a good example of materials being re-used from show to show
  • The refugees, among them builders, craftsman and horticulturists, often bring with them seeds and cuttings of plants such as roses so that they can be reminded of their homeland through the gardens they go on to create. This garden aims to evoke this part of life in the camp

About the garden 

Inspired by the resilience, determination and ingenuity of refugees living in Domiz camp in Northern Iraq, and designed with their input, this garden highlights the unexpected beauty hidden in the camp. It uses materials typically available in such camps, including concrete and steel, with shade screens inspired by traditional Islamic designs. An ‘innovation wall’ uses everyday objects such as tin cans and plastic bottles, an idea sourced directly from gardens in Domiz.

The planting scheme features drought-tolerant plants grown in the region including fig, lemon and pomegranate trees, and other edibles and herbs used in Middle Eastern cooking. Channels of water radiating from the central fountain provide a peaceful and cooling atmosphere, while representing the importance of grey water reuse in the camps.

The Lemon Tree Trust supports refugees to build gardens to grow food, create beauty and promote wellbeing, community and belonging. See also: RHS and refugees make the desert bloom.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.