An urban garden at Chelsea

I suppose, since they're all in the center of London, all these gardens are technically urban gardens. There were a handful of gardens at Chelsea that were designed specifically as urban gardens. These interested me the most. They included smaller more intimate spaces, more use of vertical space, espaliered trees, reuse of materials and other sustainable ideas. They often contained items required for people -- seating, tables, work spaces, shelter and storage.

This particular garden features a steel-framed shelter (a Victorian safe) with a former prison door, built-in fireplace, log storage and green roof. The over-sized rain chain drained into a large metal cube. All the dark woods, dark-barked trees, big chain, industrial lighting, stone and metal finishes gave the garden a very masculine feel. The plantings were very unstructured -- nothing to clip, shape, deadhead, or shear.

The fence is constructed from recycled timber, highlighting the garden’s industrial feel and creating a strong backdrop for the planting. The fence was made from reclaimed gym floors. I detected the occasional basketball-looking floor markings in some of the individual pickets. This is the best looking wooden fence I've ever seen. Some of the pickets were a dark stained wood that matched the beautiful trees in the display (Prunus serrula 'Tibetica' (Birch Bark Cherry Tree) ). The trees have vertical bands of highly-polished-looking bark in golds and browns. My next home will have a forest of these.

There were large turbine fans in this garden. I didn't understand the purpose of those I don't think they added anything to the display and in fact, they distracted attention from the cleverness of the design.

This garden did get a gold from the Chelsea judges.
Reclaimed chairs, a re-purposed prison door and reused gym floors look good in a Victorian safe.
Good fences make great neighbors. What do great fences make?
I liked the way the gutter extends way beyond the roof to allow the rain chain to empty into
the tank, forming a "doorway" into a different part of the garden.


  1. What an interesting article ! i suppose that the turbines are featuring the big fan coolers that you usually find on rooftops, no ? it a very important element of the urban garden !


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