gardens at battersea power station planted

The gardens at Battersea Power Station designed by Andy Sturgeon were planted in Spring 2021. The new residents’ communal gardens at Switch House West are thriving. Already lush and green by the summer, the bright foliage of the Crataegus prunifolia and grasses have added great seasonality in the autumn. There is a wealth of evergreen planting for structure through the winter with early spring bulbs providing plenty of colour and nectar for invertebrates which continues right through the year.

This garden is built on top of the existing historic roof of the power station which meant planting into a relatively shallow, bespoke formulation of lightweight soil. The garden is long and narrow and designed with seating areas tucked into generous areas of planting. Wherever you are in the garden you have long views to the buildings at either end including Westminster Cathedral and yet you are immersed in sea of grasses, perennials, shrubs and bulbs.

The power station was located here because of the access to the Thames and the vast quantities of water needed for cooling. Our planting palette includes many grasses and evokes a riverine habitat. However, in reality the planting requires little water and is selected to tolerate what for plants is a fairly harsh environment of wind, and heat.

Image credits: Rachel Warne