Summer in the City: ideas for urban gardens
After falling hard for Kate Griffin’s verdant patch of north London during our recent visit to her house for our ‘Open House’ series, and with a recent spell of hot weather renewing our sense of optimism in the British summertime, we’ve had a think about some ideas for urban gardens.
The Yard House, London SE22
Architectural designer Jonathan Tuckey centred this house in East Dulwich around a secluded central courtyard to form an outdoor ‘room’, to which all the main interior spaces are connected. The silver birch trees contrast well with the translucent polycarbonate panels that form the house’s exterior, and the current owners have used colourful wildflowers from the garden to create an elegant centrepiece to the outdoor table.
Mornington Terrace, London NW1
Owing to the north-facing position of this house in Camden, Undercover Architects, who overhauled the space, opted to forego a traditional lawn to introduce a veritable urban jungle dominated by tree ferns. Eating lunch on the covered decked area that overlooks the canopy, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere else completely.
Yasuyo Harvey’s house, London
When considering ideas for urban gardens, it pays to remember that they can be fun areas for children to explore and learn. We like how botanical stylist Yasuyo Harvey engaged her son, Noah, to participate in a spot of watering when we visited her home for our ‘My Modern House’ series.
Warley Close, London E10
Despite not having expanses of lawn, the south-facing terrace of this former industrial space in Leyton has been given a lush feel with the introduction of planted pots. The kitchen leads directly out onto the deck, making it an ideal spot to grow a herb garden.
Killowen Road, London E9
Investing in well-designed furniture shouldn’t be confined to interiors, as this beautifully crafted townhouse in Hackney proves. The patio garden, accessed through sliding doors, displays a shapely ‘Diabolo’ concrete planter by Swiss designer Willy Guhl, which we like for its hourglass figure and simplicity of material.
Tiverton Road, London NW10
This remarkably intimate and reflective space, designed by Takero Shimazaki Architects, extends the living space with an outdoor/indoor-blurring courtyard. Arched glazing opens outwards, where pebbles and an archer tree evoke Japanese temples, while an external shower elevates cooling off in summer to a more considered affair.
Ezra Street, London E2
This spatially clever and material-driven house is well placed for the green-fingered, being a stone’s throw from Colombia Road, with its weekly flower and plant market. Its current owners, Eleanor and Peter Pritchard, who we visited for our ‘Open House’ series, have opted for a run of potted plants over a traditional border, to keep the space adaptable and non-perspective.