Grey Coats School

  • Grey Coats School - new-beds-2
  • Grey Coats School - making-the-feature-safe
  • Grey Coats School - irrigation
  • Grey Coats School - the-old-water-feature
  • Grey Coats School - the-old-school-front
  • Grey Coats School - school-planting
  • Grey Coats School - school-garden-design
  • Grey Coats School - plants-going-in

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We were asked to look at improving aspects of the outside spaces to this historic school in Victoria in central London.

Brief:

We were asked to look at improving aspects of the outside spaces to this historic school in central London. The main entrance to the school is situated in one of the more modern buildings and had a built-in planting bed to one side. However, any plants had long since died – not much of a welcome to visitors or pupils!

There was also a paved area within the school gardens containing a defunct, and rather bent, lead fountain in an octagonal pond. Clearly from a health and safety, as well as an aesthetic, point of view this was no longer satisfactory.

Solution:

We established that the most likely reasons for the failure of the previous planting to the raised bed were…

…Inefficient irrigation system

…Unsuitable planting

These problems were tackled with a new irrigation system, together with new compost and weed-suppressant, moisture retaining membrane and mulch. The planting selected satisfied the need for low maintenance, tolerance to the London traffic and also provided colour throughout the year providing a much more welcoming entrance to the school.

In the garden, the staff felt that a fountain of some sort should be retained but that it needed to be made safe.

Our solution was to place a sturdy grid over the pond, to cover it with natural Caledonian beach pebbles and to replace the fountain itself with a beautiful drilled natural slate obelisk.

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