Lennox-Boyd design to be unveiled next week in Kensington Gardens

Planting details from the new garden at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by Arabella Lennox-Boyd, have been released.

Arabella Lennox-Boyd's garden at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Kensington Gardens. Copyright Luke Hayes
Arabella Lennox-Boyd's garden at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Kensington Gardens. Copyright Luke Hayes

Lennox-Boyd has created a garden that flows gently around the structure and echoes the architectural form of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, which was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and opened in 2013. Planted during the 2015/16 season, the design is sensitive to the existing flora and surrounding parkland of Kensington Gardens.

Clear space around a gnarled Aesculus sativa (Horse Chestnut) highlights the sculptural nature of its trunk, while the lawns and functional areas contrast with colourful swathes of planting nearby. Borders contain a range of herbaceous plants and grasses to flower throughout the seasons, ensuring year-round colour, interest and a habitat for wildlife.

Early blossoming bulbs, such as Scilla sibirica, Crocus thomasinianus and daffodils punctuate swathes of ornamental grasses. Salvias, nepeta, phlox, oregano and low-growing euphorbias will flower in June while grasses, including pennisetum, miscanthus and Sesleria soften the design and will bloom in the autumn and winter.

Lennox-Boyd said: "It has been a joy to work on such an exciting public project in the middle of Kensington Gardens. Since opening in September 2013, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery has already become intentionally established as a first-class destination for culture. I hope that my design will bring beauty and a greater understanding of the aesthetic and almost spiritual joys of plants, trees and the natural world to gallery visitors from around the world.

"I am grateful also to Emma Mazzullo and Libby Russell of Mazzullo Russell for the generous assistance they have given me in executing my design." 

The Serpentine Galleries' director of summer programmes Julia Peyton-Jones and artistic director Ulrich Obrist said in a joint statement: "The Serpentine has had a long relationship with Arabella starting with her design for the landscape surrounding the Serpentine Pavilion in 2005 designed by Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura. We are thrilled that she agreed to design the gardens surrounding the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.

"By opening up the views of Kensington Gardens and by inspired planting, including expanses of grass and trees that echo the parkland beyond, she has ensured that the landscape connects perfectly with the Serpentine Sackler Gallery’s location in one of London’s most beautiful Royal Parks."

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