French Ambassador's garden inspired by a British take on Parisian formality

Dozens of semi-mature pleached limes and box-headed hornbeams are among features in a new design for the French Ambassador's garden in London.

The garden, which features a symmetrical scheme, has been inspired by the formal parks and public gardens of Paris.

It is the first professional commission for designer Sarah Bradley, who is studying at the Inchbald School of Design.

Her garden was chosen as part of a competition to create an entente cordiale-inspired design that aims to reflect the essence of a French garden as seen through British eyes.

"I love the avenues of trees in French parks," explained Bradley, who spent 25 years working in television production before changing career.

The avenues she has designed form private areas and a central lawn remains to provide space for events such as the Bastille Day celebrations in July.

"I felt it should be somewhere people could walk and talk and enjoy the garden from all angles," added Bradley, who included 84 trees in her design as well as a mix of native French and English flowers and shrubs.

The garden also backs directly onto Kensington Palace Gardens. "I haven't wanted to obscure that view at all," said Bradley.

Discussions are now underway with contractors and it is hoped that the garden will be completed in the summer.


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