Jun 302012
 

Mortlake

On a Plants & Planting course at Capel Manor College a few years ago, we students joked that we needed faintly ridiculous, posh-sounding names if we were going to get ahead in the garden design business. Ann renamed herself Honey and Mark called himself Muddy. It was agreed that my name didn’t need changing – it’s ridiculous enough already.

Anyway, Ann/Honey is now busy gardening, designing and advising the good folk of south west London. Her own garden is tiny – just a few metres square – but it feels much bigger. She’s somehow managed to cram in a potting bench, a table, a shed (complete with a green roof covered in sedums, below) and umpteen plants in pots. She’s even managed to divide it into two sections, which gives the illusion of more space.

The climbing white rose is Rosa ‘Sander’s White Rambler’. It’s survived living in a recycling box for the past five or six years, a plastic half barrel for five years before that and a shallow raised border for five years before that.

Like most London gardeners, Ann would love a bigger space. But what’s she’s done with what she’s got is an inspiration for anyone with only a few square feet to play with.

Jul 092011
 

Tufnell Park

I spotted Tania’s blue bike store with its green roof from the other side of a main road and felt compelled to make a beeline for it. Tania was working in her garden and explained that the roof was the work of her boyfriend, who had made it over three weekends. He followed instructions on Islington Council’s website.

It makes a change to see a green roof that isn’t covered in sedums. Tania said that the only problem is that she can’t see the plants that well from below as the shed is quite tall. She’s thinking of planting something trailing and bright next, like nasturtiums.