Apr 102013


Just off Marylebone High Street is this little mews. You can’t really tell from the pic, but the bamboos are really bushy and abundant and form a perfect screen for whatever is behind them (an office, by the looks of it). They contrast well with the clipped box balls and the Helichrysum petiolare ‘Silver’, which have gone a little bonkers (and have impressively come through the winter unscathed).

Around the bottom of the box balls is lots of chickweed. It is, of course, a weed. But it’s green and fresh and positively springlike, and it actually looks quite nice.

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Jan 132013


My friends Tim and Alan have recently moved to Brighton, where they’ve bought a house that is identical to the one they lived in in London. The only differences are that the new house is a bit larger, has a loft extension and was cheaper (natch). As all their furniture is in exactly the same place as it was in the old house, the effect is a tad disconcerting. I only remembered I was in Brighton and not East Dulwich when a seagull screeched outside.

I once mortally offended Tim and Alan by telling them that their London garden ‘could’ be very nice, when in their opinion it already was very nice (I’m not known for my tact). This time I was careful to keep quiet, but even Tim and Alan agreed that they’ll need to sort out their front garden at some point. It’s typical of so many terraces – less than a metre deep and currently consisting of some dodgy paving and some recycling bins.

This house, a few doors down, has dealt with this tricky space by filling it with big evergreens. The bamboo and fatsia are low maintenance and provide a screen against prying eyes. They also give lots of impact, even on a dark winter’s day.

Apr 022012
Jan 212011

St John's Wood

This posh terrace of houses really stood out this morning as their front gardens are so green. All of the gardens have a similar set-up – some bamboos, fatsias, choisyas and so on, plus bin stores covered in alpines and evergreens. Quite a few of them have little seating areas. They look very similar, so maybe they were planted by the same person. Whoever it was certainly knew what they were doing.