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We were asked to fill gaps, tidy up and enlarge this garden outside the first distillery in London to distill a whiskey in over a century.

The East London Liquor Company garden already had attractive corten planters forming a courtyard and covered walkway. But many of the plants were struggling, and a further carpark entrance planter was being installed, and it needed 3 mature birch trees.

In addition to the 3 silver birch (Betula utilis ‘Jacquemontii’), we chose from our usual selection of long-performing, drought-tolerant plants that would thrive in the hot concrete carpark, such as Stipa tenuissima, Salvia varieties and Perovskia.

We wanted to use plants which feature in the distillery’s blends, but very few of those plants (juniper, coriander and citrus fruits) will survive in our climate and/or look good all year round. We were at least able to install shrubs of bay, with some fennel and angelica.

birch trees east london liquor company
Finishing on the day of installation, the new corten bed has not yet acquired its rusty sheen, and the new plants are yet to reveal their full potential.
east london liquor company courtyard garden
The main courtyard garden, which we tidied up and filled gaps in.

The silvery green of the Mediterranean herbs is perfectly offset by the earthy warmth of the corten planters.

Driving past one year later, after a very hot summer, we popped in to find that the new plants had really filled out: the golden, billowing flame of the Stipa, set against the stable, upright structure of the rosemary and the dynamic verticality of the Panicum grass.

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