In 2018, we were asked by the huge national building firm Wates to green up the communal areas at their site at the Royal College of Surgeons near Aldwych.
We were approached thanks to an introduction made by SEUK, the national body for social enterprises, who advocate on behalf of organisations like us, demonstrating to big businesses the benefits of working with companies who have a social or environmental mission.
The location was very shady, tucked in between buildings at the site office, so we were quite limited in our plant choices.
But as ever, our suppliers at the Palm Centre were able to provide us with a range of largely evergreen plants with lots of year-round interest from foliage. One of our favourites is the Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’.
The palmate foliage endures all year round, with the incredible lacework variegation that distinguishes this cultivar from its less showy species parent.
In a slightly sunnier spot, we were able to squeeze in some small, topiarised Bay trees, for a more formal, traditional look in the Chelsea troughs of lightweight fibreglass.
And it’s the time of year when Photinia really earn their place in planting schemes, their new red, bronze foliage sprouting into white bracts of flowers, even in shady conditions.
And then we went with some of our other reliable classics: Muehlenbeckia (a sprawling, scrambling climber or trailing plant), Heuchera, and various evergreen ferns to provide lots of varying textures & forms of foliage.
Since completing this job, we have since done two other projects for Wates, in Wembley and west London.