Variety is the spice of life in Jan Tallis and John Lock’s east London garden. Measuring a roomy 30 x 90ft, the south-facing garden contains seven distinct areas – an accommodating layout that allows Jan to indulge her plantaholic tendencies. Colour-themed beds run the gamut from whites and pastel pales to the eye-popping magentas and yellows of the vibrant and hot beds.
A balcony jungle visited by squawking exotic birds might seem more likely in Singapore than Sydenham but designer Virginia Armstrong has created just such a slice of the tropics outside her 1960s house in south London, and given it all the retro chic of the island scenes in Dr No.
When architect Annette Marchini and her husband Renzo wanted to extend their London home, they came up against a common conundrum – how would they deal with a significantly smaller back garden? Annette’s solution was to use thoughtful design to create a cool, contemporary garden that’s eminently usable despite its size.
Marsh Lane Allotments in Tottenham are exactly as you would expect. A barred iron gate opens on to a landscape of neat rows of fruit and vegetables interspersed with an idiosyncratic collection of greenhouses and sheds. Exactly as you would expect that is, until, walking down a row of sheds, you come to something that looks oddly like a front door, with the number 94 marked out in mosaic. Step through it, and, suddenly, the vista is very different.