Un jardín secreto de Londres lleno de magníficas magnolias

Overviews T2 1265 production digital

When landscape architect Sheila Jack was asked to bring a light touch to a renovation project in west London, she brought to bear her experience as a magazine art director and her interest in craftsmanship and architecture. The designed garden is as legible as the design, but is also full of life with a three-dimensional atmosphere, helped by the trees installed over several decades by the previous owners. One of them, a perfectly protected magnolia, was further embellished in spring with a row of cherry trees in a chorus of multi-stemmed flowers. Prunustonsiloid spurge var. robbiae .

Sheila’s initial design idea emerged from the proportions of Queen Anne House, carefully renovated by conservation specialist Giles Quarme Architects. A central window on the ground floor required a less conscious geometry in the garden than the existing narrow path leading down one side; However, this provided a large quantity of Yorkstone paving to reuse. “We reoriented everything so that the shaft came out of the center window,” Sheila explains. «The view from the house now is very downwards. »

As in the best of secret gardens, all that remained was to dismantle the raw materials: rusty urns were found among the undergrowth, ready to be repackaged and painted black; and a second magnolia, previously hidden in the bushes, became the focal point.

Below, the view is mostly persistent. A retaining wall, built at a comfortable sitting height, is flanked by generously proportioned steps constructed from the original stones. Being quite narrow, the steps were deepened at the rear with planting pockets; Soleirolia soleirolii (Mind Your Own Business) creeps along the stone, easily confined in this arrangement.

The client’s mission was to preserve the atmosphere of an old city garden, but also to open it up, bringing greenery closer to the house all year round, as well as a crescendo of flowers in spring and more discreet flowers in early summer. Above the retaining wall, a slope is informally planted with ferns mixed with European asarum AND muehlenbeckia complex (girl’s hair vine). The flowers are white, edited to allium ‘Mont Blanc’ in spring and Anemone X hybrid ‘Honorine Jobert’ in autumn.

Further along the L-shaped garden, the paving gives way to a steel-clad gravel path. This transforms a corner into a private space, hidden behind a high wall – decorated with mosaics and a young wisteria – and sheltered by the large awning of a Prunus X yedoensis room . Throughout, the furniture remains simple. Next to the micro-football pitch is a bespoke oak bench, created by a Sussex sawmill, while around the fire pit is comfortable seating sourced from the Indian Ocean. Out of season and without cushions, the shapes of the wooden chairs are pleasantly transparent. In this isolated space, Rosa glauca is lined up along a brick wall, combined with A. . “The Generous Gardener” and climbing A. . “Albertine.” In adjacent sunny or shady areas, the planting palette remains discreet. The tulips are followed by martagon lilies in deep red and pink, with flashes of clarity from Tulip ‘Spring Green’ and the beginning erythronium ‘Pagoda’.

Sheila’s gardens exude a sense of harmony and style, worthy of a former American Vogue art director. However, there is a humanity to her work that goes beyond visual skills. Sheila has won awards such as the Society of Garden Designers’ Fresh Designer Award 2021 since she graduated from the London College of Garden Design in 2017, and has been featured in Home and Garden Rising Stars Roundup 2022. She seeks balance . “I love the contemporary aesthetic and a simple layered planting grid,” she explains. At the same time, she believes it is important to keep people away from her homes and yards, and from paths that lead directly to the garden. “You need to feel comfortable in your outdoor space, you need to feel protected,” Sheila continues. “You want to sit where you face, but have protection on your back. This doesn’t apply as much when you’re in a house, but in an outdoor space it becomes extremely important.

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