Harrier Yard, London
Harrier yard is set amongst the large boulders, the planting within the narrow courtyard is designed to be reminiscent of a natural gorge of dry river canyon that aims to negotiate the potentially awkward meeting of ramps and steps, so that the changes in level become an interesting visual and spatial experience rather than merely a functional one.
Multistem birch trees are scattered in a naturalistic and apparently random way through the space. The tall slender form and striking white bark would be well adapted to the space and they cast only light shade.
In the centre of the space a more open central courtyard with one large rock and a pair of birch tree contrasts with more involved areas to the north and south where there is a higher concentration of level changes together with more rocks and planting.
The ground layer planting needs to be very shade tolerant. It would be largely green and would include Pittosorum tobira ‘Nanum’, forming low evergreen mounds and Hakonenchloa macra, a low arching grass with rich brown winter colour. Further interest would come from groupings of Disporum ‘Night Heron’ whose dark purple stems and pale yellow flowers appear in spring before turning to a deep green in May.
A scattering of delicate Narcissus ‘Snipe’ would appear in February and March through the beds before the Hakonechloa has emerged.