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Inner City Planting

March 3, 2014

In London last week I was struck by the amount of attention and care people put into greening up outdoor spaces whatever the space available.  Below was a raised wooden planter built to 90cm high and covering the outside wall of an architect’s office at the end of a suburban street in Peckham. The weathered wood had turned silvery-grey which combined beautifully with the soft creamy-pink flowers of Bergenia stracheyi.  And the leathery evergreen leaves made a strong contrast against the grey concrete render of the building walls.  Bergenias survive in dry and shady areas so need little attention and it was subtle and pleasing planting that lifted the spirits as I turned into the street.


A bit further along there was an unusual hedge of Senecio ‘Sunshine’ that had been clipped regularly to achieve a dense barrier between the neighbouring garden. It was cool and refreshing and suited the scale of the house and the colour of the front door beautifully.


Outside a block of flats six huge plastic containers had been planted full and simply with Cyclamen coum. The plants were dramatically limited to carmine red and purple and set off by their mottled silver leaves it was an awesome colour combination for early Spring.


And although not a lot was happening in the garden below the symmetry was pleasing.  Spring tulips filled each section ready to flower next month followed by roses and herbaceous plants that bloom in Summer. It’s a very low maintenance solution that manages to give pleasure all year round.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2014 11:23 am

    I’ve noticed that too. I’ve seen sweetcorn and sunflowers squeezed into balconies. It’s fab but I do get annoyed when I come home and see people who have gardens and space and do nothing with them.

  2. March 6, 2014 11:40 am

    Yes it’s my favourite way of passing the time on public transport. I re-design hundreds of urban gardens in my head and I always keep the costs to the minimum and the impact the highest.

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