Fed up with that barren patch at the back of your house? We asked a green-fingered guru for ideas on how to turn a wasteland into Arcadia
The budget garden
Christopher Raeburn is the gardener at the Phoenix Garden, a community space near Charing Cross Road offering some much-needed outdoor respite in central London
‘I’d keep most of the existing paving, just knock out a few slabs along the front edge to break up the line, and extend it into the garden with reclaimed bricks, which can be bought for about £60 per 100 – though I’d be out in the dead of night recycling from builders’ rubbish!
‘The plants suggested will flower in sequence to give year-round colour and interest. They will be attractive to wildlife, revel in south-facing sunshine and will not need any special treatment or additional watering once established.
‘All the plants listed come in at well under £100, and are easy to propagate from seeds or cuttings. Small shrubs costs less and will often establish better than bigger pot-bound ones.
‘Green Manure Flower Seed Mix (£2.93 from www.organiccatalogue.com) can fill any gaps while you wait for growth. It’s a rich manure mix grown to attract bees and fertilise crops, and will quickly produce a confetti of flowers that will last for months. A single pack will cover 18 square metres.’
The Phoenix Garden, 21 Stacey St, WC2H 8DG (www.thephoenixgarden.org).
For more inspiration, see ‘Spruce up your London garden with Laetitia Maklouf‘ and check out Time Out’s London’s best garden centres feature.