The Height of Horticulture
GQ

The Height of Horticulture


Claire Pilton

Gardens are in: garden villages from the Government, ‘Greening Grey Britain’ from the RHS, not forgetting the most fabulous flower show in the world at Chelsea. Now, even London’s property developers recognise green space is integral to a successful community, and are creating brand-new gardens – at roof level if need be. Witness Chelsea Island, SW10, whose modern, sixth-storey take on a traditional communal garden has been designed by luxury florist Neill Strain; and Battersea Power Station, where 2.5 acres of gardens will bloom on top of the power station itself under the direction of Andy Sturgeon. The Chelsea Flower Show Gold medal-winning designer is also landscaping new public spaces at Lillie Square, Earls Court, SW6. These will cover half Capco’s 7.4 acre scheme, where a new release of apartments along the principal garden square start from £795,000. Look out for Capco’s sponsored show garden at Chelsea celebrating the horticultural heritage of 500 years of Covent Garden.
 
In the capital, the demand for properties that come with keys to private communal gardens is perennial. Over 200 can be visited by non-keyholders at Open Garden Squares Weekend (17-18 June). Among the poshest are Belgrave Square, Cadogan Place, Eaton Square and Hans Place; the latter is available to the 10 apartment owners at Kingwood, 55 Hans Place, SW1, where Finchatton’s £150 million redevelopment completes this month.
 
Londoners are lucky to have 5,000 acres of Royal Parks on their doorstep. Residents at The Park Crescent, W1, will enjoy private access to their own garden and, via a secret tunnel, Park Square West adjoining Regent’s Park. Prices start from £3.95 million through Amazon Property which, with British Land, is also redeveloping Hempel Gardens, W2. The former hotel provides 18 apartments, from £875,000 to £7 million, around a private garden square near Hyde Park. Here, at what architect Rafael Vinoly describes as ‘the most important corner of Hyde Park’, Almacantar has started work on Marble Arch Place.