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Thursday, 5 May 2011

John Stefanidis' London garden in May

Protected by a mild city micro-climate, blue-grey Agave americana, perhaps more suited to parched deserts or sun-baked Mediterranean hillsides, do well in pots, even in this north-facing site. Their barbed, fleshy leaves provide elegant structure. Any rotting, mushy leaves which may have suffered in the winter wet are trimmed off. A neighbouring, potted olive tree [Olea europea] and variegated Yucca gloriosa are in familiar company.
Spherical heads of the summer-flowering bulb Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ stand proud above a raised bed of plain and variegated Buxus sempervirens, their unsightly, dying foliage skilfully hidden by the evergreen box.

On a pergola which stretches the width of this very narrow garden, a white Chinese wisteria [Wisteria sinensis ‘Alba’] frames the picture, its spectacular racemes of flowers shimmer in the sunlight. Mingling happily with the wisteria is the slower-growing, Trachelspermum jasminoides, an evergreen climber whose delicate, white flowers release their heady scent in June.

Bottom left – A statue of the Hindu god Shiva’s bull ‘Nandi’ haughtily contemplates the scene

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