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Very small shady garden in central London

By London garden designer Declan Buckley. Simplicity was the key to the design of this tiny urban back garden.

Shady city garden declan buckley

The original north facing site was dark and enclosed, with a tall expanse of brickwork and a 1940's concrete bomb shelter taking up much of the site.

Shady city garden declan buckley

The clients knew nothing about plants and had no time for high-maintenance borders. Yet, after modernising the interior of their Georgian terrace house, they wanted an outdoor space that flowed from the open-plan ground-floor living space and worked as a relaxing outdoor room.

Shady city garden declan buckley

Hard materials were limited to wooden decking outside the glass doors, slate tiles and rendered block-work for the walls. The planting is restrained to just three plant species that look good all year round.

Shady city garden declan buckley

A screen of the black bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra, uplit at night, throws dramatic shadows across the back wall, while the fragrant climber Trachelospermum jasminoides scrambles up the trellis, and drought tolerant astelias spill out of slim planters.

With a simple table and stools, this is a simple yet stylish venue for al fresco suppers or parties throughout the year.

Plants list

Click any plant name below to learn more about it and to add to your own 'Plants I want' list.
Trachelospermum jasminoides
Designed by Declan Buckley

Other gardens by this designer