In this urban garden the countryside of Finland, a nation of 188,000 lakes, is represented, melding rural landscape and contemporary design. The boundary fence has been reclaimed from an old barn, the tonal value of its weather-beaten planks picked up in the polished, bush-hammered and flamed granite paving, the benches and floor of the sunken garden – this a nod to traditional stonemasonry. A cascading water feature symbolises rivers and rapids as well as Finland’s cultural relationship with fresh water.
The planting is multi-layered and rich in meadow plants. The national flower, lily of the valley, features alongside the rare mutation red birch and the slow-growing juniper – rich in scent and flavour and a significant ingredient in the serving of gin. Finnish growing conditions are demanding, characterized by the long days of summer and hard, winter darkness.