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Urban garden living wall

We’ve recently completed a small courtyard garden design-and-build in Clapham, incorporating a stunning ‘living’ wall.

The clients, who were looking for a London garden designer to create a space for entertaining and relaxing in, commissioned us to design a contemporary urban garden.

The design incorporated built-in hardwood seating, raised beds and the star of the show – a living wall across the width of the garden.

The key to success in a small space is keeping it simple and un-fussy, so both colour palette and hard landscaping materials were kept to a minimum.

In order to create a seamless transition from inside to outside, porcelain tiles were specially selected to match those in the kitchen, and the fences were painted the same grey as the kitchen units.

Planting in the raised beds consists of Japanese mountain grass (Hakonechloa macra) – which will soon spread to cause an airy mass of bright green blades that will sway in the slightest breeze.

The grasses are punctuated by balls of Japanese holly (Ilex crenata) which is a great substitute for blight-prone Buxus sempervirens, and being evergreen - provide year-round structure.

Being north facing all the plants in the living wall are shade tolerant, and evergreen so that you don’t get any gaps in winter.

Plants include Asplenium scolopendrium, Blechnum spicant, Liriope muscari, Carex ‘Ice Dance’, Pachysandra terminalis, Polystichum tsussimense and for stop-you-in-your-tracks winter scent – Sarcococca hookeriana.

Finally a specimen multi-stemmed Acer palmatum sits in a anthracite planter, with the contrasting living wall creating a wonderful foil in the background.

We love this little garden and we’re looking forward to going back in early summer next year to see how the plants have filled out.

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