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Brownfield metamorphosis Image caption Brownfield metamorphosis: A garden about regeneration
Hill culture Image caption Topsoil is laid over rotting wood and garden waste
Garden designer Martyn Wilson Image caption Garden designer Martyn Wilson
Flowers grow against a backdrop of steel Image caption Flowers grow against a backdrop of steel
Bringing nature into your backyard
(05/Jul/2017)

Projects such as the High Line in New York have used industrial spaces to create wildlife havens in the heart of the city. It's a trend that's spreading around the world. So how can you connect with nature on your own patch of turf?

Take inspiration from a forest glade

It's a tiny patch of forest in an urban landscape. Hawthorn and crab apple trees provide a shady canopy over a collection of shrubs, wildflowers and soft mounds. The garden, London Glades, at the Hampton Court Flower Show, is designed to mimic the forest floor.

Mounds of rotting wood and garden waste have been covered with topsoil to be more sustainable and echo the natural contours of the wild.

Stimulate the senses

Part of the concept of the garden is to invoke the senses. Strawberries nestle among other plants, where you can reach out and pick them. There's moss to tickle your toes if you walk barefoot along soft paths.

"We're trying to get people to get all their senses involved when experiencing this garden," says co-creator Andreas Christodoulou.

"There's a lovely smell, especially during the rain, along the lawn paths, and we encourage people to take off their shoes as they walk through so that they can feel and try to explore the soft landscaped paths."

Recreate the surprising beauty of brownfield sites

Martyn Wilson from Wilson Associates Garden Design is behind a garden that echoes the way nature takes over abandoned industrial spaces.

"The concept is around the regeneration of brownfield sites as they're known," he explains. "My inspiration is from places such as the High Line in New York and the Landschaft Park at Duisberg in Germany, but also major regeneration sites such as the former MG Rover site in Longbridge in Birmingham."

Sculpted steel forms the basis of the garden, together with concrete blocks. The planting includes birch trees, buddleia bushes, grasses and ferns.

Create a gravel garden

Old factories and industrial spaces can go through periods of transition where they are reclaimed by nature.

Even a small patch of land of 9 by 5 metres can harbour wildlife. Plants peep through gravel as if they have sprung up naturally, attracting insects such as damselflies.


Website(s):
- www.bbc.com