One of the joys of living at the Charterhouse, of which there are many, is sitting in, or strolling round, our gardens. The current splendour of the design and planting is all due to Claire Davies who spent nine years creating our ‘oasis in the centre of London’.
It was my pleasure, before she retired in 2018, to work with her on her swansong – a beautiful book of the photographs she took as she wrought, from what was a barren area of scrubby lawn and uninspired borders, the glory we enjoy today. It is also my pleasure, in lockdown, to help out while our current head gardener, Kate, is on furlough, by watering parts of the garden along with other Brothers.
For an hour or so, every other evening as the sun dips, I wander with my hose, talking to the plants and, while they soak up the water, I soak up their varied and lovely perfumes. I also get some well needed exercise following many hours lounging beneath our extraordinary cherry tree, a good vantage point for surveying the splendour.
Claire Davies’ book, designed by Tim Epps, ‘Behind walls: Enchanting hidden
gardens of the Charterhouse’, can be obtained by following this link: