Seeds of design: The shape and sounds of a London garden

garden design

This wonderful illustration shown in the Sounds of the City exhibition at the London Transport Museum really lends itself to a garden design plan.

The seed of inspiration

I visited the exhibition and subsequently drew inspiration from this fabulous illustration, Surprise City Sounds by Julia Allum. It has great colours, and a fabulous repeating motif. The inspiration came from a recent visit to Kew Gardens where she was inspired by the beauty of nature thriving in the hustle and bustle of modern metropolitan London. She strove to create this in a bold simple image. The familiar London Transport logo is combined with rose-ringed parakeets The bold colour and flow in this piece inspired a London garden design.

london garden design

Surprise city sounds by Julia Allum

The bud of garden design

My garden design tries to replicate some of the flow in the illustration. A huge patio sits in the bottom right-hand corner of the space. Constructed from sandstone planks, it echoes the lines within Allum’s illustration. A series of circular lawns cut through the space on the diagonal. A gravel pathway winds through the space cutting the lawns and taking the user from one end of the garden to the next. The pathway could be constructed from hoggin or resin bonded aggregate. Overhead, rows of pleached trees layer up the space. The user, able to pass beneath the trees which create an archway across the winding path. Planting the space is deeply textured and varied. Primarily in shades of green, it encompasses deep glossy evergreens with softer grasses. Pops of orange punctuate space reminiscent of the parakeets beaks.

London garden design

A winding path creates strong shapes in this garden design

Ideas bloom on the mood board

The path design reminds me of the Rubik’s snake I played with as a child. Also, it is reminiscent of the movement of the sidewinder snake and the undulating nature of the multi-level house pictured below. The Sonia Delaney print mashes up repeated circles cut with straight lines create similar inspiration.

london garden design

Mood board capturing garden design using curves and straight lines