The spring is almost upon us, traditionally this is a time when we focus on outdoor spaces so it’s timely to consider London garden design with a little help from award winning garden and landscape designer, Alexandra Noble.
Many properties in Chiswick are fortunate to have good sized gardens, if you’re thinking about selling your home in the coming months and want to get your garden in order before going to the market, this article might offer some useful pointers. With a clear passion for gardens and an art for creating serene spaces Alexandra is the perfect person to share some of her favourite plants for a London garden and discuss the places from which she takes inspiration.
Reinvent your London garden with our step-by-step guide
Whether you’re thinking of selling and want to spruce up your outside space or have just bought a home and the garden needs some work, there are a number of ways to improve your garden.
Step 1 – See what’s salvageable
It’s not always the case that everything needs to be ripped up and started over again in order to reinvent your London garden – see what’s salvageable.
Established plants that have been left to become overgrown can usually be tamed and if desired, moved to a new location, or left as they are and added to.
In a time where we’re all trying to be a little more environmentally friendly, upcycling existing items and taking care to move or work with existing plants and their eco-systems is definitely a positive idea.
Step 2 – Add new flowerbeds
Many don’t realise that lawns actually require quite a bit of upkeep so it can in fact be a relief to increase the size of a flowerbed or add new ones.
Patience is the key with many gardens, whilst buying mature plants can give you instant impact it can take at least a month for a garden to settle and usually 6 months or longer to see the full effect of your efforts.
If you’re making improvements to the design of your London garden prior to selling it’s wise to plan in advance.
Step 3 – Choose plants to add interest and texture
Garden centres can be overwhelming with the number of plants available in all shapes and sizes and the instructions for planting and keeping them can seem like they’re written in a foreign language.
We asked Alexandra what was her favourite plant or particular materials she enjoys working with the most?
“I work with a lot of umbellifers as I adore the otherworldly, dreamlike quality they can bring to an outdoor space.”
If you’re not particularly green fingered but want to have greenery in your garden finding low maintenance and hardy plants is a good idea.
What plants would you recommend adding interest to a garden but remains fairly low maintenance and hardy?
“Look for grasses such as Stipa tenuissima (Mexican feather grass) or Anemanthele lessoniana (New Zealand wind grass). These look wonderful planted en masse and just need to be combed through once a year in spring to remove old leaves (ensure you have gloves on to avoid cuts!)”
Step 4 – Work with a garden designer
We’re a little bit biased but we love Alexandra’s work.
If you’re serious about making a lasting impact to your garden and one that will not only look impressive but will be fit for purpose, it’s a good idea to work with a garden designer.
A garden and landscape designer can ensure the garden fulfils your needs. Some see a garden as an extension of their home meaning they’re looking for seating areas that flow from the property, others might want a robust and low maintenance space that the whole family can enjoy.
We had the privilege of selling a home where she had beautifully designed the garden to create a space that made you feel as though you’d left London and been transported to a peaceful green nirvana.
What was the inspiration for the Chiswick Worcester Drive project?
“The countryside! The client wished to feel more of a connection to nature despite the urban context.”
We can confirm, having been at the property in person, that the garden Alexandra created made you feel like you were no longer in Chiswick and were instead stood in the countryside.
About Alexandra Noble
Alexandra has a talent for creating gardens that are especially green and almost seem a little wild yet are well thought out and beautifully arranged as well as being practical and meeting the needs of the owner.
You trained as an architect before you moved into garden design – why gardens?
“I love the creativity that designing gardens affords – creating planting palettes which not only look beautiful but also provide for pollinators is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job.”
London has many parks and gardens that are open to the public – where do you like to visit?
“Where do I start! I adore the grade 1 listed conservatory at Chiswick House and Gardens when their heritage camellias are flowering in early spring as well as picnics in Queen Mary’s Rose Garden at Regent’s Park during midsummer evenings. Another fantastic visit is the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park when the rhododendrons and azaleas are ablaze in April/May.”
The value of a garden
Gardens can significantly impact the price of a property but that doesn’t mean that simply having a garden adds to the value regardless of its condition.
An unkept and poorly presented garden can in fact put buyers off as they realise, they’ll have to invest further finances to make the garden useable. Research has shown many times that a well-kept garden can boost a property’s value.
The pandemic has made homeowners appreciate outside space that much more.
We strongly advise potential sellers to spruce up their garden in advance of coming to the market as buyers now see outside space as an additional room. Where it might have now been a ‘nice to have’ it’s now a highly valued part of the property and for many a necessity.
If you’re thinking about selling and would like to talk to us about your property in Hammersmith, Shepherd’s Bush and Chiswick, please do get in touch.