A Lush Haven
This sensuous, South London back garden presents a leafy balance, enveloped by mature trees from neighbouring properties and within its expansive perimeter. We designed a lush, subtropical landscape by combining tall, broad-canopied, evergreen floras such as Tasmanian Tree ferns and Palm species, with a grasses and sensory perennials understorey. The elongated space was fashioned into three distinct sections by utilising porcelain tiles, hardwood decking and granite shales, within a well-integrated, tactile garden design sequence.
Design & Words: Amir Schlezinger
lush london garden 65m²
This Stockwell back garden had been neglected for many years, yet its fine proportions, expansive outline and substantial foliar growth presented valuable resources with abundant potential. Trees along the perimeter and plants in adjacent gardens were thriving, inspiring our subtropical flora framework which achieves a green spectrum of flourishing, exotic vegetation. The contemporary approach contrasts surface linearity with a lush landscape design, sustaining an oasis of varied plant species – apt in such a culturally diverse district of the capital. As in many South London schemes, a temperate microclimate nourishes the versatile soft landscape of an urban garden project.
The long garden space required subdividing into manageable zones, where a tiled patio leads up to a deck which merges with a granite gravel area. This layout produces a dynamic sequence, as the garden is often viewed from an aerial perspective, while laying the materials on width increases sense of depth. The garden's multilayered outline provides a spacious platform for an abundance of Tree ferns, Palm and Bamboo species to shine even in dull weather. This architectural, modern garden philosophy, fusing an array of exotic and winter-hardy floras, extends nightfall prospects, when outdoor lighting elevates the garden setting into a radiant landscape – silhouetted by woodland canopies overhead, while accentuated by hedges and benches below.
London Plant Life
We designed low hedges of varied textures and heights to articulate the space, by planting Japanese Holly, Abelia and Lilyturf. Dicksonia Tree ferns, in five varying sizes, were layered into the entire garden, producing broad canopies, and adding pivotal scale. Japanese maples, Bamboos, Sedges, Palms and grasses generate leafy outlines, which portray tropical garden essence, yet are winter-hardy in London. While the Tree of heaven is at times considered a garden nuisance, here, at established scale, we preferred to design with it rather than ignore it. This approach defined a deep planting bed, providing ample space for Tree ferns to spread their canopies, where an extensive foliage gamut is achieved by sensitively diversifying the flora – synonymous with our South London gardens – restoring balance and lushness.
With abundant, architectural silhouettes, the lighting design elevates dusk ambience, accentuating sculptural outlines, while the benches' cavities at the garden's far end generate a warm afterglow, amplified with LED lights. The effortless approach of improving scale inline with existing, tall trees enhances fluidity by utilising a concise material palette, enabling plants to take centre stage. Lush foliage stands out above a clear layout, amid subtle detail designs, where a mundane London back garden was transformed into an opulent hideaway by making the most of its resources, and prospects – even in shade.