Little Gem

Isleworth, TW7: small courtyard backing onto Sion Park.

How many plants can you get into a garden just 22 meters square? Answer: 675. Our clients are keen gardeners and had downsized from a house with a beautiful garden in Kew, so the benchmark was high. It was also required in a short time frame to accommodate other planned building work.

Living walls are a fabulous solution to so many things: small spaces, combating air pollution in London, maximising the planting space, covering a very old wall and giving interest at all times of the year.

We started with a couple of shrubs and a tatty deck, all removed and fences painted dark grey to work with the conservatory and kitchen. They recede into the background and give an idea of more space.

This garden faces south but the trees in the park, the wall and it's diminutive size mean there is always some shade. We made the most of this with careful planning, using plants to create lovely shadows that change through the day. Materials were chosen to compliment the colour pallet and marble worktops in the new kitchen.

This cast iron grate makes a feature of a troublesome drain in the centre of the patio. We used LED hoop lights in the living wall to continue the circular theme. They look great when they sink back into the foliage.

There's an art to working in a small space. All done tidily and with the minimum of fuss.