Outdoor space comes with a premium price in London and that is why it is critical that full use is made of it. I think we should value every square inch of our garden space be it a window box, balcony or in this case, a shady north facing garden.
This thin strip is nestled at the foot of the towering wall of St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey Street. Personally I think the wall including the wonderful old arched church windows are a benefit to this garden. It gives it a certain something. Certainly on a Sunday morning when the choir is in full throttle it becomes quite a magical, spirited place.
The guys wanted to have their tired, damp garden invigorated. They have neither the time or the green fingers to know what to do with a space that gets no sun. They needed me.
I like composite decking for these kind of areas. It is low maintenance compared to its wooden forerunner and the light grey is good for creating a sense of light where there is little. The shape of the decking pad adds interests and slows your journey down through the garden by making you turn and walk. The raise beds and Taxus columns harmonise with the giant wall and start to make it feel more friendly.
Notice the back wall. Its cracked and ancient but truly wonderful juxtaposing against the modernness of the decking and the contemporary style planting. This back area attracts you as a destination. Cleaned up and re-laid the cobbles look like they have been in front of the wall for decades. The difference in surface area only adds to the kinaesthetic experience of taking a stroll to the back. Even the rear door of the church offers an illusion that there is something beyond.
I love all the gardens I create but there was something about this one that was rather special. The quirky named coffee shop (Fuckoffee) situated right next door plus their delightful cakes certainly added to the magic.