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

This garden faces south but the trees in the park, the wall and it's 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.