Tuesday, 14 January 2014


Thanks to Julia - she recommended the Happyside Garden to me today and I went up and had a look. Designed by Dan Pearson, it slots in between the Arthouse Buiding and what looks as if it will be Waitrose, attached to Central St Martins at Kings Cross. Yet another revelation. London is an amazing city.

I zipped up to St Pancras on the High Speed train and was amazed to see the gates of Camley Street Nature Park from the station. It was wonderful to know where I was headed, before I had left the train.

It's an amazing place, sandwiched between St Pancras International Station and the Canal, a truly 'wild' place, anarchic, teeming with biodiversity and wildlife and so diametrically opposed to the urban precise manmade design and construction surrounding it.

The antithesis of an urban beehive, although it does have its own webcam. The bracket fungus is exquisite. 

I love the almost cathedral quality and scale of the wrought iron gates, something I had already been considering for my site, especially when viewed in front of an approaching dusk sky.

Reflective quality of water was discussed yesterday. A reflection in the still waters of the canal, framed by the bridge and the towpath.

The reason for my excursion: Dan Pearson's Handyside Gardens.

A well thought out, beautifully executed small space. Lots of wonderful curves in a very linear environment.  The rill adds movement and flow to the space. It's a comfortable, very human scale and I can't wait to come back and look at the planting when it's in flower. Blue (Perovskia), silver (furry leaved salvia, can't remember which one) and red leaved Bergenia plus Carpinus hedging. Funky bird and beast boxes on wobbly poles,

 Curved seating, peeping over the top of the Perovskia, looking like the Loch Ness Monster. The sand pit at the other end is also shaped into a Loch Ness Monster, although that one is more linear.

This archway looked great in daylight and illuminated at night. Part of me hopes the plants don't grow and cover it over. I think it looks great as it is. The play equipment was actually being used at 5pm, it's the pink light behind.

A really useful trip, and during my research this morning on Happyside, I also discovered the London Orchard Project so I may well put some 'Cor Blimey' apple trees in my scheme.

Onwards and upwards.

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