Innovative garden by Dan Pearson acts as green route for city dwellers

Handyside Gardens
Handyside Gardens opens at Kings Cross

The garden, known as Handyside Gardens, has been designed by gardener Dan Pearson. It sits between a nearly complete apartment building and a soon to be converted railway shed that will house a cookery school and a Waitrose.

Pearson has created a series of raised beds, surrounded by Corten steel in a nod to the industrial materials of the former railway. Raising the beds was a solution to the low soil depth available, as the garden runs above Underground tunnels. Oak seating is incorporated on the edge of the beds.

Although something of a wind tunnel, the garden will provide a place to sit and also has a dedicated children’s play area, but it also functions as what will be a dedicated green route through the area, running alongside the canal and linking to Granary Square, designed by Townshend Landscape Architects. This space has proved so popular, that an original intention to use it to house events may be abandoned, with a different space being used.

Pearson’s design for Handyside Garden includes a network of sinuous hedges, made up from a patchwork of plants. Much of the planting consists of pioneer species, making reference to the growth found on railway embankments, where wild plants mix with garden escapes. It has been designed to provide year-round interest, with seed heads and dried grasses being left through the winter, only removed at the time when spring bulbs will emerge. Argent, the developer for King’s Cross, will be responsible for the maintenance.

Pearson will work on the horticultural aspects of other gardens within the development which are either under construction or under design, bringing a coherence to the entire development.


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