Queen's Park Overlooked Garden

This small and narrow garden in Queen’s Park, London was a real challenge. The space was overlooked from all sides by three and four story houses with many areas being cast into deep shade. The client wanted a courtyard style space that felt private and was an urban oasis, surrounded with lots of lush planting.

Slatted Cedar fencing was installed along the entire boundary to add height, provide a contemporary feel and provide unity throughout the space. The existing concrete pavers and raised beds were removed and new blue/grey granite paving was installed with staggered edges to create irregular shaped planting beds. This provided a sense of being surrounded by planting, even within a very small space.

A multi-stemmed Amelanchier provides a focal point at the end of the garden and draws the eye away for the houses beyond. The paving is broken up into sections that were divided with strips of gravel and planted with the low growing Soleirolia soleiroll (Mind Your Own Business) to break up the space along the narrow side return.

As the client is away travelling a lot the planting was designed to be low maintenance with a mixture of shrubs for structure, ornamental grasses for movement and perennials to provide colour. The colour scheme is fairy muted with whites and purples to create a calm and relaxing feel with flashes of orange from the Crocosmia. Star Jasmine are trained up the fence and provide a lovely scent while shade tolerant perennials ferns are used along the side return, an area that has very low light levels.

What our client had to say:

John was great from the very start. As soon as I made contact, he made time to visit me and listen to my ideas and desires for the small urban space I have. He drew up a few options and met again with me to show different textures for fencing and paving. His ideas book gave me a clear sense of the planting themes for the garden, taking into account lighting and seasonality. 

John also viewed the progress of the contractors, who he knew well, and was able to report back to me when I was away from the property. Not only was he and his team competent, but worked with vigour and fun despite some hardy weather.