Who needs summer and flowers, eh! We say that trees and winter bark are just as beautiful!
That said, looking back to summer and autumn, what a wonderful time we have had. We have been rushed off our feet with so many creative and diverse projects! Probably our busiest autumn season ever – hence no time to blog! We have also been busy with lots of voluntary work. Our ethos in these times of Climate and Ecological Emergency, is that it is really important we all do our bit ! We therefore donate about 20% of our work, free of charge, to increasing biodiversity in LB Camden, Islington and Harringey, creating community gardens and pollinator pathways.
With 97% of native wildflower meadows having disappeared in the UK in the last 50 years, we are really keen to persuade, you, our wonderful clients, to do your bit, and allow us to lay a patch of wildflower turf in your gardens. This autumn we have started working with a new wildflower turf. It is plastic free (i.e.the netting which holds the turf together is made from felt) and is packed full of wonderful native wildflowers, annuals and perennials. It looks gorgeous from March-October, and in the winter it just looks like an interesting textured lawn. We say cut down on your lawn area, folks, and introduce wildflowers! If your garden is too small for a small wildflower patch, why not merge the edges of lawn and flower beds with the planting of some gorgeous clover, thyme, or low growing wildflowers life birds foot trefoil and self heal.
We love it when we get a brief from a client to design a family friendly wildlife garden packed pull of biodiverse plants of all colours. We created several such gardens this year. Equally we enjoy working on transforming small urban gardens, and have embarked on a number of theses.
One brief we particularly loved for a client in Harringey was to create a patchwork garden where we planted areas of wildflower turf around fruit trees, and small ornamental trees for late season colour and berries. We planted single petalled roses and different season clematis to climb up the walls, and honeysuckles to entwine the fruit trees. A path made from object trouveau snaking its way through this bucolic garden led to a pond we built at one side and a seating area. What is missing from this design I hear you ask? Well… it’s the lawn! We think the days of having a garden with a large lawn surrounded by herbaceous border, are no longer! A large lawn perfectly manicured lawn is unsustainable with too great an placed on the need to water. By creating a wildlife friendly garden, birds and pollinators will thank you too.
We also really do enjoy makeover days in overgrown gardens, and have completed many such days this autumn. It’s great to give a garden a good prune to reveal hidden plant gems, and borrow views from neighbouring gardens!
A new one for us this season, was the a brief from a client wanting to give a young couple a garden design as a ‘wedding present! We really enjoyed helping create an edible landscape.
We also have created several community gardens this season. The Sunshine Garden on West Hampstead station was great fun to co-design and build with the West Hampstead community centre. For the Salvation Army, the term ‘singing to your plants’ really rang true when the wonderful Sally Army band serenaded us as we built wooden beds and planted a really pretty garden for them in the urban surround of Chalk Farm
With our new Rewilding Camden team, we are also passionate about creating wildlife gardens on housing estates. For our first project – Growing Raglan:Growing Community, we planted up areas of wildflower turf and hedgerow shrubs and really enjoyed spending a day with the wonderful TCV Green gym, building a coppiced wooden fence out of willow and hazel from a wood in Croydon! … Yes, you read it right!
There are so many more wonderful projects we are working on, which we will tell you about early next year! Meantime, seasons greetings and do pop down to our Platform 1 Cottage Garden on Kentish Town overground station: #snoggingstation and join in the fun. Happy solstice and new year!