While I was in England last month, a gardening friend showed me Nigel Dunnett's newly installed garden in The City of London. My friend, Giacomo Guzzon, is a recent graduate from landscape architect school works for a firm that has its offices near the garden called Beech Gardens. Beech gardens is a roof garden that uses a modern and ecologically sensitive design approach that takes into consideration biodiversity and aesthetics in equal measure. Dunnett is perhaps best known for designing the meadows at the London Olympic Park in 2012.
In this project, he planted over 22,000 herbaceous plants that were chosen for color interest throughout the year. Fourteen multi-stemmed trees, including silver birch, Betula pendula, and Prunus serrula.
A partial list of the plants included: Sedum ‘Jose Augergine’, Achillia ‘Terracotta’, Euphorbia characias 'Humpty Dumpty', Thymus ‘Silver Posie’, Salvia 'Caradonna', Limonium platyphyllum. The plants are combined in a way that appears to distribute the plants equally. As someone who is experienced in designing and working on public spaces, this approach will be challenging to maintain without knowledgeable gardeners. I was pleased that Giacomo showed me this garden because I have never seen Nigel Dunnett's work in person. I hope to visit the garden next year to see how it develops and matures over time.