public park | london, uk | winner gardens illustrated design prize | nicole fischer
Victoria Tower Gardens are dominated by the adjacent Houses of Parliament, high buildings and constant traffic noise on Millbank. Two rows of mature pine trees and a view of the river Thames mitigate that effect but there is no real interest within the garden or understorey to provide a sense of enclosure and calm for garden visitors. Based on the dimensions of the Victoria Tower, the design introduces a series of garden rooms with different themes as well as a café.
Clipped hedges of Taxus baccata, Carpinus betulus and Buxus sempervirens are used to form the rooms. Small trees such as Acer platanoides ‚Globosum’ and Prunus serrulata ‚Shirofugen’, stand above the hedges. A select planting palette of spring bulbs, fragrant roses and ground cover plants add seasonal highlights to the year round interest provided by the hedges and trees.