The South West London Gardener

London Garden Ideas: How to Use London to Influence your Garden

We love living and working in London.

Our jobs take us across the whole of Southwest London, and the places we see and people we meet are always a joy.

But why is London so great?

Well, how long have you got? There are many reasons, far too many to name in this short blog.

When designing and building gardens, you take influence from many outside factors, including being in and around London.

That’s why the team at The Southwest London Gardener have created this handy guide on how being in London has influenced our garden designs, and how you can do the same.

Let’s take a look.

1. Use Your Vertical Space

Take a look across the skyline of the City of London and you will see plenty of tall buildings, including the Shard which is the tallest in London at a whopping 309 metres.

While these buildings look amazing and make for a stunning visual from a distance, there is another, much more important reason for this.

Over 5 million people make up the workforce of London, that’s a lot of office space that is needed. By building up, instead of horizontally, each building has a much smaller footprint, meaning you can fit many more rooms in.

The same approach can be taken in your garden.

If you have a small garden, it can be hard to come up with a design.

You want plants, a seating area, a feature. So where can it all go?

The answer is up.

If you have spare wall space, why not add a trellis and some climbing plants to create a stunning visual whilst not taking up much room at all.

For a feature, why not add a thin tree that is sure to catch the eye and bring a dash of nature to your garden without leaving no space for anything else?

London uses height to make the most of its space, and so could you if you want to really get the most out of your garden.

We adopted some techniques, such as adding shelving and climbing roses in this garden in St. Ann’s Hill and it really made the most of the space.

2. Add a Place to Relax

London has some lovely green spaces to relax in.

Surprisingly for a city known for being built up, 18% of London is considered green. That’s more than the area covered by railways and roads combined.

With areas such as Battersea Park, Hampstead Heath and Kensington Gardens amassing millions of visitors every year, London is much more than just the city skyline it is famous for.

This green space is perfect for relaxing in and getting some fresh air (something that can be hard to come by when living in a city).

If you are lucky enough to have your own garden space, adding a relaxation area with seating can make a huge difference, such as in this Sutton garden.

This will provide you with a place outside of your home where you can enjoy sitting in the sun and take in nature in your garden.

Why not add some decking or paving to a small area to add a different section to the garden which can be designated as a seating zone.

The major London gardens cover thousands of acres and are home to plenty of wildlife, and there’s no reason your garden can’t be the same, except just on a much smaller scale.

3. Light it Up

If you’ve ever looked across London at night, you will have seen an array of dazzling lights.

The Shard has a collection of over 500 LED lights which lights up the top part of the structure at night, and there are more lights running across Tower Bridge and beyond.

When the sun sets and the city gets dark, these lights add a stunning effect, and lights can do just the same in your garden.

For a low price, you can easily buy some gorgeous solar-powered lights that will add a touch of serenity to your garden when the evening comes.

If you’re someone who loves nothing more than enjoying a quiet drink in your garden after dark, spreading lights along your fence, or strategically placing some around your seating area to light it up can add a great effect.

If you have a feature that stands high in your garden, such as Big Ben in London, light it up to really make it stand out amongst the rest.

And if you have a walkway through your garden, keep it lit. This will do much more than just illuminate the path, it will also turn the path into a feature and may even make your garden look bigger by splitting it up into sections.

4. Add a Stand-Out Feature

When you think of London, what springs to mind?

The Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, the British Museum?

These are stunning feats of architecture and design and are regularly found surrounded by onlookers looking to catch a glimpse or a photo of these world-renowned spots.

Having a stand-out feature such as this can make a huge difference to an area.

Can you imagine the London skyline without the Shard?

The Thames without Tower Bridge?

It would be missing something, and so may your garden if you don’t have a feature to really catch the eye.

Now, I’m not asking you to build a 309-metre structure (I don’t think your neighbours would be very pleased) but something as simple as a strategically placed tree can make a huge difference to an outside space.

Or why not look to add a water feature? Or a pergola covered in climbing plants such as in this garden in Wimbledon to add a dash of colour to your garden?

We added this stunning raised planting bed to a front garden in Worcester Park and it makes such a huge difference to the space.

There are so many great options to add something special to your garden that can act as a focal point and change the whole feel of the place, so take inspiration from London and add something your friends and family won’t forget.

5. Add Some Variety

One of the best things about London is that it is packed with variety.

If you walk down any street you will see so many different shops, restaurants, entertainment spots, and much more.

You never know what you’re going to find as you stroll through the capital, and this is what makes it so exciting.

People say ‘variety is the spice of life’, so if you’re looking to spice up your garden, take a leaf out of London’s book and change things up.

Try adding some exotic plants in colours that go against your current crop.

Or why not add something a little different, like a structure not often seen or a water feature that is designed in a different way than is expected.

Everything from your flowers to your furniture can make a garden feel different, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new.

You never know, you might just stumble upon your new favourite feature.

The Southwest London Gardener

As you may have guessed from reading this blog, we’re passionate about being natural gardeners in London.

If you would like to transform your outdoor space, get in touch with the team at The Southwest London Gardener today.

We have years of experience in working throughout London and delivering stunning gardens.

We look forward to hearing from you.