Green Wall Helps Chelsea House Win Accolade


The conversion of a five bedroom house in Chelsea incorporated a 5m high x 2.5 m vertical garden by Treebox who were called in last summer by garden designer Dolores MacDonald to help create a ‘wow’ factor for the basement light well of this £8m house in Chelsea.

Courtyard wall
Irrigation system hidden
Courtyard viewed from inside

The house was being transformed by Tea Johnston, a mother running a busy household who has a flair for interior design, and wanted to make full use of the minute rear garden, that was bounded by at 5 m high wall. Although the green wall would face south, the bottom half was almost permanently in shade.


A modern look was required to complement the rest of the interior, and Tea was pleased with the diagonal striped design that Dolores proposed. Working together with Treebox they drew up a plant list that provided all year interest and suited the conditions. Plants used included Heuchera ‘Green Spice’, and ‘Plum Pudding’, Liriope Muscari, Fatsia japonica, Festuca glauca and Polypodium fern

An automatic irrigation system was installed by Treebox, and to prevent any runoff spoiling the quality paving in the courtyard, a water diverting trough was added below the installation. This was all concealed by removable stainless steel panelling.


Completed in summer 2011, the vertical garden provides a double impact as it extends for two storeys, being on view from both floors. The colourful planting was also reflected in the mirroring in the dining/kitchen, so providing a feature wall to be enjoyed from inside the house.

Put on the market by Hamptons for £8m, the house attracted attention in the States, where it was named European ‘house of the day’ by the prestigious Wall Street Journal on 12 January 2012.