The path here generated a great deal of interest at Chelsea this week. I 'manned' the garden one day and fielded a lot of queries about it. The idea is that the owner of this garden is an overdrawn artist, short on money but with lots of time and creativity. She has sourced these walkway grills from a scrap yard for £10 each and used ends of bags of different coloured aggregate (gravel) to fill each square, mosaic-style. London buildings are represented. At the front is the Royal Hospital (site of the Chelsea Flower Show). I also found Battersea Power Station and St Paul's Cathedral, but not the Gherkin!
I like the way this simple design element (the grill) has been used on different levels and planes - for the floor, the steps and decorative panels on the wall to the right. It's great how money has been saved on hard landscaping (I counted 15 grills) leaving more for plants.
I also like the use of herbs and fruit in with mixed planting. There's a vine and a gooseberry bush at the front, borage and woad on the right, and there was also oregano and mint. Productive planting is a good trend and represents a return to the origins of cottage gardening - ornamental and edible together. In the designer's narrative, the artist was selling herbs and berries in an honesty box by the front gate.
This designer normally does far grander gardens but was asked to step in only in March as Flemings from Australia had had to pull out when their nursery had been destroyed in bush fires. http://www.saraheberle.com/