Lennox-Boyd landscapes Hadid's Serpentine gallery

Arabella Lennox-Boyd has spoken of her sadness following the death of architect Dame Zaha Hadid as she opened a garden that puts the finishing touch to one of Hadid's famously sinuous designs.

Sinuous: the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London
Sinuous: the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London

Six-time Chelsea Gold medal-winning landscape designer Lennox-Boyd spent three years creating the garden at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in Kensington Gardens, London.

The original 1805 building was extended by Hadid and opened in 2013. Lennox-Boyd's design aimed to echo the ebb and flow of Hadid's architecture with her planting, while providing colour throughout the year.

"I was flattered to be asked to design a garden to complement this amazing creation of Zaha Hadid's and I am so sad her untimely death has deprived us of many great creations had she lived longer," Lennox-Boyd said. Hadid died on 31 March, aged 65.

"We met (at the gallery) and I thought she's going to hate everything, but she was very friendly. She realised I wasn't going to completely destroy her creation."

The aim was to surround Zaha Hadid's extension with naturalistic planting in order to complement and enhance the building. In front of the building a simple wave of box is pruned in tiers and interwoven with Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Fairy Tails'. Clumps of Miscanthus, Epimedium and more Pennisetum are planted under the yew hedge which lead to the herbaceous borders which surround the restaurant's outdoor dining area.

Here herbaceous plants and grasses will bring colour, shape and contrast well into late autumn and winter. Early bulbs include Scilla sibirica, Crocus thomasinianus and daffodils, while salvias, nepeta, phlox and low-growing euphorbias will flower through June. A large Cornus controversa in the corner was chosen for its tiered sculptured shape and is backed by evergreen Trachelospermum jasminoides, which releases a heady scent.

At the far end an ancient sweet chestnut was cleared of undergrowth and pruned to expose its sculptural trunk. Surrounding shrubs include Viburnum plicatum mariesii, Cornus 'Norman Hadden' and Hydrangea aspera villosa.

The garden was built and planted by Nigel Bowcock of Acre Landscapes and designed with help from Mazzullo Russell Landscape Design.

Lennox-Boyd said it had been "a joy" to work on the project.

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