SE8 London - Tropical Garden

SE8 London - Tropical Garden

Design considerations and challenges:

  • Size ca 40sqm
  • South facing, very sunny
  • Windy
  • Overlooked
  • Decking and gravel already in place
  • Old fencing
  • Back access
  • No shade
  • Large existing climber to be removed

The Brief

The client’s vision was to have a green haven inspired  by a tropical look.

In addition to the existing patio the client wanted to have an outdoor lounging area with firepit and a small herb garden and lavender in planters. A large fig tree required repotting and re-siting to become a focal point in the garden.

There was a real need to create more privacy to the road side and neighbours and to provide some shelter from the sun. A wooden pergola was added to provide shade and privacy on the patio area and tall Phyllostachys provide a green screen on the boundary walls. By cloaking the fences in evergreen climbers the eye is drawn into the garden and away from the surrounding tall buildings.

The planting scheme is loosely tropical with verdant foliage, different textures and strong architectural shapes. Bright oranges, reds and yellows mimic the hot colours of tropical flowering plants. The walls, fences and pergola are covered in climbing plants such as Jasminum officinale, Trachelospermum jasminoides and Passiflora caerulea to create the exotic look and pungent sweet smells  so often found in warmer climates. Phyllostachys nigra provides much needed height, privacy as well as lovely movement and sound in the garden.

Key plants used

Shrubs: Cordyline australis / Fatsia japonica / Euphorbia characias subsp. Wulfennii / Phyllostachys nigra
Climbers: Jasminum officinalis / Trachelospermum jasminoides / Passiflora caerulea
Perennials: Agapanthus africanus / Crocosmia lucifer / Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora ‘star of the East’/ Carex oshimensis / Heuchera spp / Kniphofia ‘Jenny Bloom’/ Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ / Polypodium vulgare / Geranium Rozanne / Anemanthele lessoniana