Alexandra Noble is an award winning garden designer specialising in the creation of outstanding gardens and landscapes. Most recently she has won RHS People’s Choice Award for the Health and Wellbeing Garden at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018. Her gardens have featured on BBC 2 and Gardener’s World as well as in the Telegraph, British Vogue, Evening Standard, Metro, ELLE Decoration and Enki Magazine alongside numerous other publications and blogs.
Find out more about Alexandra
Q & A
What inspired you to choose the plants for the North Audley Street Garden?
The plants for the North Audley Street Greening were selected for their tolerance to drought once established. With the advance of climate change, gardening in tandem with drought will become more widespread and utilising plants such as these helps to lessen our water usage.
Many of the plants chosen have a long flowering season such as Sedum ‘Herbstfreude, Salvia ‘Caradonna’ and Erigeron karvinskianus. Evergreen interest is provided via inclusion of plants such as Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’, Santolina rosmarinfolia and Rosmarinus ‘Miss Jessop’s Upright’
The majority of the plant selection also supports pollinators such as butterflies, moths, bees and hoverflies by providing them with pollen and nectar throughout the seasons. Pollinator populations are in decline worldwide due to loss of feeding and nesting habitats as well as excessive use of pesticides and changes in climatic patterns, therefore it is imperative our green spaces and gardens contain pollinator-friendly planting
The planters have been finished with gravel mulch which helps the soil to retain moisture and also has the added benefit of reducing weed growth
What is the importance of green spaces in central London?
Green spaces throughout the city are essential for the health and wellbeing of the capital’s residents, workers and visitors. During the pandemic, we have seen how parks and green spaces are especially vital to those with no access to outdoor space at home. Introducing nature into high density urban spaces improves our connection to the natural world whilst providing cleaner air, urban cooling and habitat for wildlife
What are your favourite aspects of your job?
I really enjoy the day-to-day variety the job entails from visits to nurseries to days spent designing a new project planting scheme or sketching garden layouts. Each project is a creative and collaborative process with other industry professionals such as landscape contractors, gardeners, architects, interior designers and plant/tree nurseries.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to do something similar?
I would advise working for a period at either a landscape architecture or landscape design practice. The experience spent on live projects from concept to completion and opportunity to familiarise yourself with CAD and rendering software will be invaluable
I also found the RHS Level 2 Horticulture qualification very helpful for gaining a further understanding of areas such as soil science, plant health, propagation and plant classification