Landscape architecture, garden design, planting design and management - Rowland Byass
Compton Street

This project involved the creation of a planting scheme for a communal courtyard serving four new houses in Clerkenwell, central London. The courtyard is a sheltered site, shaded by high enclosing brick walls and neighbouring buildings. It suggested a woodland scheme of trees, shrubs and ground flora.

A palette of hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), birch (Betula pendula) and red-barked Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Senkaki’) creates the woodland structure – the red and cream bark of the maple and birch designed to stand out against the brick walls of the courtyard. At ground level, a tapestry of carpet-forming woodland plants is interplanted with ferns and spring bulbs. The whole is designed to suggest a portion of woodland, enclosed by the high brick walls of the private courtyard.

Since completion, the planting scheme has made the courtyard much more appealing than the blank walls and paving that the houses looked out on before. The tree cover and habitat created have attracted birdlife to this private, green space in a densely built-up, urban location.