North London Garden Borders

The client had been between London and Philadelphia for a number of years and due to neglect and over-zealous maintenance gardeners the borders were looking very sorry for themsleves. Family Christmas trees had been allowed to outgrow their space and shrubs had become overtall and top-heavy with growth leaving straggly lower branches on view.

Most of the herbaceous planting had disappeared apart from a few lovely poppies.

A plan was decided upon that would renovate or take out some mature shrubs. A beautiful and well-loved Catalpa which had become over large and dominating was pruned vigorously which would encourage new and large foliage.

A new planting plan was agreed upon to restock the borders with herbaceous perennials.

Work commenced the first week of January 2018.Paragraph

The client was so happy with the work, tessa parikian garden design was asked to rejuvenate the front garden borders.


Bare soil


Hydrangea Vanilla Fraise, Osmundas regalis, Geranium phaeum album, Alchemilla mollis



Due to ill health the client had let the garden become rather delapidated. This lovely small terraced garden was formal in style and needed some tender, loving care to bring it back to it’s former glory.

It was decided to replace the lawn and create some lovely herbaceous borders that would not need too much maintenance but have a long season of interest. Grasses would stand over winter giving interesting silhouettes and plants with seedheads would extend the season. Bulbs will be added in the autumn for spring colour.







An area of paving on the junction of a busy main road had become an impromptu dump. Veolia Outreach stepped in to transform this unloved patch into a commuunity garden.

After meetings with Jason Prentis from Veolia, I became involved in the design of the garden.  In consultation with the council, paving slabs were raised to create geometric planting bays. Raised wooden planters were built to disguise unsightly hoardings and to enhance the majestic 19th century Water Fountain.

Work started in the middle of the Beast from the East and was completed by volunteers a few weeks later. A planting scheme of long lasting, robust perennials and small shrubs was designed and added to by donations of plants from local residents. Bulbs will give spring colour.

After the inauspicious start, the garden has flourished and is now admired by all who walk past. Passers-by are compelled to sit near the garden and no dumping has occurred since the garden was created.

Early artist’s impression
Planting bays bursting with colour,  July 2018



Tessa Parikian has been recreating the back garden from a child-friendly garden into a garden with large herbaceous borders, teaming with pollinators and wildlife. The newly planted borders survived the harsh, cold spring and hot dry summer of 2018 with the minimum of intervention.

The terrace, accessed from the kitchen through bi-fold doors with it’s built in borders for herbs and climbers creates an enclosed and secluded eating space.

Walking down three steps onto the lawn the newly created sweeping pathway takes you past large informal herbaceous borders to the end of the garden where the working part of the garden is placed. The shed and compost bins are disguised by cleverly placed flower borders. A swing chair nestles behind the Acer palmatum and is an area of respite from the heat of the day.

Tessa has used the right plant right place theory in her planting design with shade loving plants in the north-facing border and sun loving plants in the south-facing border. Tessa has a keen interest in creating a garden that can be resistant to both drought and flood in the current, ever-changing and unpredictable weather patterns being encountered. It is a truly resilient garden.

Library - 2003
Wall to wall grass August 2009
Library - 2273
Newly built terrace 2009
The bare bones
Sweeping grass pathway
Strategic planting to disguise the shed
Summer 2018