The Volvo Garden Retreat At The Hampton Court Flower Show

The Volvo Garden Retreat

Volvo V50

To support its commitment to the environment and naturally inspired design, Volvo is sponsoring a garden - The Volvo Garden Retreat - at this year's Hampton Court Flower Show, from 5-10 July.

Volvo chose top garden designer Tom Hoblyn to create The Volvo Garden Retreat because of a shared interest in intelligent design and his passion for creating wonderful gardens inspired by natural environments, using traditional skills and materials wherever possible.

The Volvo Garden Retreat is designed as a family's secret hideaway featuring a traditional Cob summerhouse hidden away at the end of a track on the edge of a wood, and accessed over a water feature via a boardwalk of reclaimed wood.

Cob is a traditional and completely environmentally friendly material made from a mixture of clay-based subsoil, straw, water, sand and crushed shale, and has been used for the last thousand years. It does not contribute to deforestation or require any manufactured materials or power tools, and is energy efficient and completely recyclable. The cob's ingredients are mixed and compressed by hand to form the walls of the summerhouse, which is a laborious process as each metre in height must dry before the building can continue.

A Volvo V50 Sportswagon is subtly parked on the edge of the garden to show its integral role in modern family lives. It also demonstrates Volvo's commitment to the environment, as up to 85 per cent of the car can be recycled, and it is produced in one of the automotive world's cleanest production plants. In fact, Volvo was one of the first car companies to be awarded global certification under the international environmental standard, ISO 14001, and was the first to produce an EPI (Environmental Product Information) to assess the lifetime impact of its models. Environmental information for the current Volvo range is available at

Furthermore, Volvo interiors comply with the international 'Oeko-Tex 100' standard which is a major step towards providing the healthiest car interior environment possible as it ensures all materials are free from harmful emissions. Even the leather upholstery meets this requirement, thanks to the use of natural plant substances and chromium-free tanning.

Published 29 June 2005 Melanie Carter

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