This east-facing front garden is on a busy road in north London overlooked by passersby and double decker buses. It is shaded by a mature crab apple tree and, originally, a mature silver birch that has since succumbed to disease and been replaced. This scheme underplants the trees with low plants that will thrive in semi shade to create a striking contemporary woodland garden.
Bold geometric block plantings pick up the symmetrical lines of the house so the garden feels in harmony with its setting. The plantings allow for dramatic effects as the year progresses, the deceptively limited planting pallete incorporating contrasts of height, colour and texture.
Low plantings of evergreen box, native fern dryopteris wallichiana, snowdrops and arum are joined by tall spikes of white foxgloves in summer. The colour palette is fresh and dark greens, with white flowers. A hedge of magnolia grandiflora provides shelter on the North side of the garden while proving large white fragrant flowers in late summer. Cotswold chippings in a buff shade are lain inbetween the rectangular beds.
Over winter the box retains a strong structure in the garden joined by swathes of snowdrops. As the snowdrops die away, fresh fronds of fern emerge from the gravel to replace them. The acid green of this young growth contrasts with the dark box foliage. At the back of the garden nearest the road, a glossy winter carpet of arum italicum marmoratum is succeeded by a generous bank of white foxgloves which send up spikes of flowers from spring to mid summer, creating a romantic ‘hedge’ between the house and road.
‘Alex has done an incredible job, making sense of over-stuffed Pinterest boards of plants, a limited budget and conflicting briefs from the three flat owners in our building. What was once a scrappy plot of weeds strewn with litter from passersby is now a stunning, contemporary, low-maintenance statement garden with year-round interest and eye-catching kerb appeal that we’re all incredibly proud of.’ Jeroen