The garden 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.
The space around a magnificent Aesculus sativa (Horse Chestnut) exposes the sculptural nature of its knarled trunk. The lawns and functional areas contrast with planting nearby. Borders are sowed with a variety 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, Origanum and low-growing Euphorbias will flower in June while grasses, including Pennisetun, Miscanthus and Sesleria, soften the design and will bloom in the autumn and winter.
Arabella Lennox-Boyd says of the design: “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.”