This isn’t the first time that I’ve featured this little area behind my office. The silver birches are underplanted with hellebores, which flowered for months this year, and alliums. Last year there were lots of foxgloves, but I couldn’t spot any this year. I wonder what’s coming next…
I went to a Chelsea Fringe meeting at City Hall the other night.
It’s a pretty nice walk from London Bridge – walk through Hay’s Galleria and you’re presented with a view of the skyline opposite before Tower Bridge looms into view.
That part of the river has lots of swanky new high-rise buildings and it’s not the kind of area where you’d expect to see much in the way of greenery, so I was surprised to see this garden.
It’s all very snazzy and modern, with heucheras, sarcococca (winter box) and ferns laid out in rows beneath silver birches and magnolias. It’s divided by lots of box hedging, which I like best at this time of year when it’s new growth makes it look bright green and fluffy around the edges. There are plenty of places to sit – the perfect urban oasis.
As I took some pics, I was surprised to see a squirrel darting around one of the granite seats. As I got closer I saw the reason why – someone had left some peanuts in their shells there. I can only assume they were a squirrel fan.
I’ve seen silver birches underplanted with all kinds of things – snowdrops, anemones, cyclamen, bluebells etc – but never hellebores for some reason. The combination works so well – the pristine white of the petals complements the dazzling trunks of the small grove of Betula utilis ‘Jacquemontii’ trees perfectly.
This is a clever bit of planting. The hellebores will flower for a while yet, and will then give way to foxgloves. And that’s it. Simple, but very effective.
This garden is tiny – no more than a couple of metres square – but it’s managed to squeeze in a silver birch, some evergreen shrubs (lavender and rosemary) and a wisteria. The colour palette is greens, whites, purple and greys (the white bark is going to look great in winter) and it’s low maintenance and drought tolerant too. Sometimes the simplest ideas really are the best.