(Photo: Faiqa Syed)
Beech Gardens is one of the newest gardens in the City of London bringing a modern horticultural approach to the planting of the grade II-listed Barbican Estate.
The garden, which is located on a raised podium area in the north-west of the Barbican Estate, was the result of waterproofing works to the roof on which the original garden sat. Professor Nigel Dunnett, best known for his work at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, was commissioned to develop the concept and a planting scheme.
The reinstatement of the garden, which had to retain the existing layout and features, provided an exciting opportunity to maximise a range of benefits, such as increasing biodiversity and aesthetic value, while meeting the challenging site conditions, which included exposure and varying aspects.
Following an analysis of the site conditions, four plant mixes were developed that took into consideration the varying light conditions created by the surrounding residential flats of the Barbican Estate.
The planting scheme includes 22,000 herbaceous plants, which were selected as part of the mixes used throughout the site to provide colour and interest throughout the flowering season. Fourteen new multi-stemmed trees were planted to provide structure, height and interest to the garden.