For London Fashion week in September 2016, the fashion label Burberry took over the old Foyles bookshop building on the Charing Cross Road in London. The delivery courtyard was transformed from a dark concrete box to a tranquil romantic garden full of sculpture.
Burberry wanted to showcase British craftsmanship and in partnership with luxury craft retailer The New Craftsmen, transformed the lower rooms of the building with activities and installations. After the fashion show, the garden and building were open to the public with the addition of a café and shop.
Garden Designer Peter Beardsley asked me to help him create this garden and we spent a very satisfying week putting it together. Inspired by home-style icon Nancy Lancaster, the garden portrays a stately home in the 1950s. Plants included ferns, grasses, hostas, heuchera, Pittosporum tobira ‘Nana’, epimediums, Viburnum davidii, Verbena macdougalii, tricertis, parthenocissus, clematis, Hydrangea petiolaris and a young Gunnera manicata.
The statues and busts (including Emmeline Pankhurst above) were part of the Maker’s House concept which continued inside the building. The foliage brought colours and textures with a theme of green and dark purple. Colour from flowers came from white hostas & japanese anemones, purple verbenas, salvias and tricertis, as well as paler purple passion flowers and clematis.
Three standard trees, one hornbeam and two beech gave structure and height to the space. Planters with climbing and trailing plants were positioned high up on the walls two months before the event to give time for them to grow and mature.
The Trompe-l’œil facade of a stately home with tall garden doors leading into the building.
Once the event was over, all the plants not on loan were donated to a garden charity in the East End of London.
The delivery courtyard before the garden transformation.
For more information about Burberry, the New Craftsmen and the Maker’s house here is a link to an article about the event in The Telegraph newspaper.