A neglected and forgotten brick-lined area at London’s Royal Academy of Arts is being brought back to life by eight-time Chelsea gold medallist Tom Stuart-Smith.
The Royal Academy in Mayfair is being transformed through a £6.5 million project and the revered landscaper is creating a brand new garden.
He is using Australian tree ferns, some up to 200 years old and 3.5m tall, growing up through the paving to the give the garden the feel of an archaeological excavation. Virginia creepers will grow up the courtyard’s walls with lush Hakonechloa macra grass and a Japanese evergreen also planted in Stuart-Smith’s first permanent public garden in London.
It will be open to the public from 4pm every day from September 30th.
Stuart-Smith, who has won three best-in-show gold medals at Chelsea, said: “It’s not a space that’s really known about or on people’s radar. It’s just a junkyard, really, one of those curious architectural leftover spaces. When I first saw it I likened it to a big pothole or brick canyon: it has a remarkable feel.”
Commenting on towering ferns he added: “They’re extraordinary – so primeval and hairy. They give the space such a strong and rather crazy character…a life of its own.”
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