How to begin a new garden or improve an existing one, can be a stumbling block for many people, including professional designers.
I recently came across a beautiful little garden in the heart of the City of London, the attraction is the lovely plants, a great lay-out and that the whole garden fits in so well with its surroundings.
It’s on the site of a former church that was designed by Christopher Wren after the original medieval church was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666.
The church was again destroyed by fire bombs in 1940 during World War 2, but has been transformed into a beautiful space, well proportioned and enjoyed by many City workers and tourists during the day.
The main message here is that a design is more successful if it begins with a single concept, a suitable idea that forms the starting point of the garden and from which everything else flows. This garden uses the concept of the lay-out of the Wren church and its surroundings
The central paved path of the garden represents the aisle, flanked on either side by borders representing the original pews, these borders are neatly defined by low Box hedging.
The tall timber structures supporting climbing roses and Clematis are copies of the decorations from the original stone pillars.
The borders are brimming with colourful plants set in a structure of evergreen hedges and shrubs, so there’ll be something to see in winter when the flowers have disappeared.
The original windows frame the views of surrounding buildings beautifully, and I love the contrast of new buildings against the remaining stone church walls.
But if you don’t have obvious inspiration or a convenient lay-out to hand, perhaps the style of your house whatever era it’s from, can be your concept.
The main thing is to carry your idea through with confidence making sure that everything you use, from the style of paving, the type of plant pots and the type of plants tell the same story.
If you’re in central London, the garden is in King Edwards Street, EC1 7BA near St Pauls tube station.
all images: Jill Anderson