Recently Landscape designer Stefano Marinaz undertook the design of the private garden in cental London. Prior to the intervention outside of this Grade 2 Listed building, located in South Kensington London, there was one Quercus ilex planted in a small timber pot on either side of the main entrance. Ten meters away the large brick planting bed alongside the garden wall was containing a large clump of bamboo. Stefano saw the potential of improving the conditions in which the two beautiful Quercus ilex were growing by freeing up their roots from the confined pots. The trees were transferred into larger planters that greened up the unused space between the house and the railing. He then decided to remove the invasive bamboo which had started to grow under the boundary wall and into the courtyard garden. In order to unify the style of planting, three additional Quercus ilex were brought in to match the ones near the main entrance. All the planting beds under the trees have been planted with Pittosporum tobira ‘nanum’ and Sarcococca confusa to give an evergreen structure while the remaining areas have been planted with various perennials and bulbs to provide visual interest and scent all year round.
This project took Stefano Marinaz to the heart of London’s museum quarter and a site dominated by a wonderful fig tree. The tree was a big character in a small space, and Stefano decided to take our cue from it, allowing its uncompromisingly asymmetrical position on site to determine the asymmetry of the plan. The tree already did a good job of shading a corner of the house in summer and screening a view over neighbouring properties. Taking inspiration from the lovely tracery of its bare branches in winter, the architect’s office designed a wooden trellis. The regular sequence of vertical posts create a backdrop on two sides of the site, while the softer contours of a heavily scented jasmine wall enclose the garden on the other side.
The trellis seems to showcase the tree’s beauty, screening the boundary wall and yet allowing light to enter the garden freely. Stefano placed a series of BRF planters in off white finish opposite the fig tree, using them like punctuation points to break up the length of jasmine wall. The other O Series are casually placed, accentuating the asymmetry of our design. The office made flowerbeds in front of the trellis and packed them with a rich selection of evergreens, perennial plants and bulbs to create new combinations of colour and scent in every season. Stefano turned the O Series into a table and a fireplace, ensuring that this small terrace will be an elegant and comfortable space throughout the year.