Rufus’ own tiny garden in Battersea measures 5 metres across by 3 metres long. It was designed with his wife Natalia’s love of bright pinks, blues and yellows very much in mind, and needed to flow on naturally from the bright and colourful vintage print and patchwork filled interior. The Brief from Mrs Rawley was simple: “plenty of gorgeous brightly coloured flowers please, especially pink. And can we grow some food?” The garden, finished in April 2014, includes climbing and rambling roses, wisteria, an apple arch, an orange tree, a fluorescent turquoise bench, giant tomato plants in Summer and herbs aplenty – all emanating from pots and loose perennial planting.
The bench, originally white, was purchased second hand on Ebay. It is intended to act as a bright focal point to this very hot south-facing “sun-trap” of a garden, positioned, as it is, underneath the North-facing boundary in cool shade.
The log store is made from recycled wood and fencing off-cuts.
The terrace is made up of 1980’s precast concrete slabs recycled from the old garden with the addition of river pebbles set in concrete to add interest and texture.
The arch is made from coppiced Hazel, which is tied to mild steel uprights, which will rust to orange. It is planted with complementarily pollinating Apple trees (one dual purpose, one dessert), which have been trained as cordons (having been purchased as bare-root maidens). It was necessary to use restricted forms of Apples due to a lack of physical space in the garden (the apples are grafted on to M26 dwarfing root stocks). However, both cordons have tripled in size in one season! The intention is to keep the Wisteria (which originates from the left hand side of the garden as you look at the bench) rigorously trained along the top two squares of trellis all the way around the three sides of the garden fence (above the evergreen Jasmine behind the bench), so that it will flower behind and at the same time as the apple arch. The French laundry pots were found by Rufus’ wife Natalia at a car boot sale and have just been washed and scrubbed. They had already been painted yellow and looked nicely distressed.