AS SEEN ON
Great Ormond Street, London
Imported Sandy Clay Loam
A boiler house rooftop surrounded by a Victorian red brick building, inaccessible directly due to the high inward looking walls. There is very little natural sunlight, creating a shady windless and rather humid environment. No natural top soil or in fact any growing medium.
Following an exhaustive selection process, including rigid requirements to be met to allow access and working in the Great Ormond Street Hospital, meeting their high levels of security, health and safety, the design brief was to transport a Chelsea Flower Show winning garden to provide an inviting and easy to use outdoor garden space, upon an industrial rooftop. One of the extreme challenges was to maintain a low weight ratio for soil, plants and trees, paving and other features. It was a pleasure to utilise and share our knowledge of some of the finer points of planting and hard landscaping whilst educating Nick Knowles and the DIY SOS team, to produce the wonderful garden seen in the episode.
Previously, aside from the café and some quiet rooms there really wasn’t anywhere restorative where parents could go to get away and have a proper break. We used to suggest going out to the shops or to one of the nearby parks, but for many parents, leaving the building is a step too far when they have a sick child in a ward.
That’s why this garden is such a wonderful addition- it’s so green and peaceful. The first time I walked out there it felt like emerging into the fresh air, even though we are in the heart of the hospital at the centre of a busy, smoggy city. I know the parents will feel the same way.
Clare Langer Clinical Nurse