Ros lives in a contemporary third floor, Southwest facing apartment in Wapping. Her outdoor space consists of a terrace which captures the sun from mid/late morning onwards and receives a limited amount of natural rainfall. The terrace is tiled with pale grey concrete pavers, surrounded by a pebble border and enclosed by grey painted railings. There was a selection of contemporary rattan garden furniture in situ on the terrace
Ros’s vision was to create a pretty external environment and to have somewhere in which she could work, relax and entertain. Ros was keen to add some form of artwork, in silver/metal, which would be engaging for her daughter and to have a terrace design which could be added to in subsequent years.
In terms of the planting, she wanted to provide colour, vibrancy, form, texture and year round seasonal interest. Ros likes scented flowers and wanted to be able to encourage birds and bees onto her terrace. She likes lavender (which the bees are attracted to) and was receptive to adding herbs for the kitchen. She wanted a variation in heights (maybe with the incorporation of climbers on a trellis/obelisk) and, for the colour palette, indicated that her daughter likes pinks and purples, whilst Ros herself gravitates to oranges, reds, blues, violets, dark pink and white.
Winter gardening would need to be reasonably low input, so incorporating spring bulbs (such as snowdrops) would be a good idea. Any planting would need to be hand watered from the adjacent kitchen.
A design was created to incorporate all of these elements, using a peacock wall art (mounted onto painted recycled timber) with three pots of lavender/ivy as the central focus, framed by two groups of three pots (of varying heights and colour).
The planting included: climbing coral pink roses on two obelisks (under planted with snowdrops), herbs (including a bay tree, thyme, rosemary, oregano, mint and chives), and an existing olive tree (which was replanted). Where possible, any existing planters were re-used. Matching rattan planters were placed adjacent to the rattan furniture and annuals, which can easily be refreshed, were used to add seasonal colour.
Within a short space of time, the terrace had attracted bees, birds and even a squirrel. Ros, her daughter and their friends were quickly using the terrace to soak up the last of the summer sunshine.
Examples are provided of the terrace before and after the completed design.