Garden Design – Hyde Park London W2
Designer: Julian Sandell
Hyde Park, London W2
“I am absolutely delighted with the work. I have never met so many of my neighbours before; now they all stop me and tell me how beautiful the house looks. I am very proud!”
- Mixed Planting & Soil Conditioning
- Irrigation System
- Hardwood Venetian Trellising
The Hyde Park Garden Design
Our Client had recently moved into this prime period property, only a few yards from Hyde Park, just off the Bayswater Road. The property had no garden as such, occupying the end position of a cobbled mews. However, it did have a large raised bed running the entire length of the façade, totaling some 14m’s, which was enclosed in decorative railings. In the past there had been some planting, but all that was left was waste high weeds and a beautiful mature Acacia tree at one end.
The client wished us to install a unified planting scheme that would both show off the property to its best and provide him with some light gardening duties to relax at the weekend. Whilst the client had no fixed ideas regarding the planting, the one thing he wished for was a pair of large Wisterias, which could be trained over the front door and its wood carved panels. The Wisterias would require some sort of structure to cling to and an irrigation system would need to be put in place to keep everything pristine.
After some consideration we settled on constructing three bespoke Venetian trellis panels; one on either side of the doorway, which would run from just above ground level to the top of the first floor and a third to run over the doorway through the central brick panel, to connect the two outer trellis panels. These type of panels would be more than just a climbing structure for the Wisterias, becoming a design feature of the building in their own right.
The panels were to be constructed from 44mm x 20mm Sapele battens, a very affordable and durable hardwood from equatorial West Africa and more importantly FSC certified. I arranged for the battens to be cut to length by our supplier, so that essentially we had a “kit” to assemble on site. Each of the three panels were made from horizontal battens spaced at the same measurements as the their width, this would ensure plenty of room for the Wisteria tendrils to go about there business and yet narrow enough to provide the stylish look we were after.
The horizontal battens were screwed to three upright battens with stainless, carbon steel screws and these would be in turn secured to the brickwork of the building. Finally, the panels were given two coats of high quality antique mahogany oil, to both bring out the natural grain of the Sapele and to provide protection from the elements.
The large upright panels were 3.6m high and 1.6m wide, whilst the connecting panel over the doorway was 1.6m high and 2.4m wide. Large hardwood panels such as these are very heavy and great care had to taken to line them up, so that they were perfectly central within the brick panels. It was also vital that they were perfectly square and at exactly the same height so that we achieved the level of finish required for such large bespoke items.
In terms of planting, I decided on a Mediterranean theme as this would perfectly blend with the existing Acacia and new Wisterias. The planting would include Lavenders, Yucca Gloriosa Variegata, Chamaerops Humilis (fan palms) and groupings of Crocosmia Babylon to provide some contrasting colour and give a natural feel to the planting.
We removed the weeds and the top 20cm of very dusty soil from the planters and imported new Rowlawn “Beds & Borders” topsoil, which was thoroughly dug through the beds. To this we added general-purpose compost, before adding and digging through about half a ton of course grit sand, as lavenders in particular require excellent drainage and we needed to create the kind of fast draining soil the plants would expect to find in their natural habitat.
Once all of the plants were in place, including the 3.5m imported Wisterias, all we had to do is install the irrigation system, and mulch the beds with a decorative stone chipping. We used green Welsh granite chipping to cover the soil firstly for the complementary shades of silver-green they offer to the planting and secondly because Lavenders in particular thrive from radiated heat thrown up from stones heated by the warmth of the sun.