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6 Indoor Garden Ideas to Steal from NoMad London’s New Hip Hangout

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6 Indoor Garden Ideas to Steal from NoMad London’s New Hip Hangout

May 20, 2021

Indoor gardens are booming in bars, restaurants, and hotels—making spaces feel lush, atmospheric, and echoing the near universal revival of houseplants. The latest space to join the fray is NoMad’s new outpost in London, a 91-room boutique hotel set in the extraordinary architecture of the former Bow Street Magistrate’s Court in Covent Garden.

Completed in 1881 (although operating in other nearby buildings since 1740), the central London court, with its imposing nineteenth century façade, had its fair share of high profile defendants from Oscar Wilde and the Suffragettes to disgraced politicians and East End gangsters, the Kray Twins. The architectural fabric is as grand as you’d expect in a Victorian Greco-Roman public building, and it provides the backdrop for richly glamorous and textural interiors by Roman & Williams and a planting design by Alasdair Cameron. We take a closer look at the pockets of pots bringing the city’s hottest new destination to life.

Below, some ideas to steal for your own indoor garden.

Photography by Clive Nichols, courtesy of Cameron Gardens.

1. A Limited Palette

“A lot of it is about form and shape,” says garden designer Alasdair Cameron of his latest commission to transform the NoMad into an English garden—albeit one with the challenges of central heating, low light levels and the bustling activity of a scene-y city hotel. “We use a really simple repeated palette of Alocasia, Philodedrons, Ficus lyrata and lots of ferns. Ferns always help.”
Above: “A lot of it is about form and shape,” says garden designer Alasdair Cameron of his latest commission to transform the NoMad into an English garden—albeit one with the challenges of central heating, low light levels and the bustling activity of a scene-y city hotel. “We use a really simple repeated palette of Alocasia, Philodedrons, Ficus lyrata and lots of ferns. Ferns always help.”

2. Cool and Shady Planting

One of the major challenges of the site was the low light levels in many planting areas and the impact of a central heating system. The dark entrance has a woodland area with Magnolia grandiflora and camellias that are happy in these cool corridors.
Above: One of the major challenges of the site was the low light levels in many planting areas and the impact of a central heating system. The dark entrance has a woodland area with Magnolia grandiflora and camellias that are happy in these cool corridors.

3. Getting the Glass House Look

The building’s original courtyard was created so that defendants could be driven inside the courthouse away from the crowds outside – now it has been transformed into a glass topped atrium, with pale celadon green pillars and iridescent tiled walls while etched glass lanterns and tiered hanging gardens create an Edwardian hothouse mood. Down in the dining area a vast trough contains miniature orange trees, clipped myrtle and ferns creating a verdant atmosphere but with little scent to disturb the diners.
Above: The building’s original courtyard was created so that defendants could be driven inside the courthouse away from the crowds outside – now it has been transformed into a glass topped atrium, with pale celadon green pillars and iridescent tiled walls while etched glass lanterns and tiered hanging gardens create an Edwardian hothouse mood. Down in the dining area a vast trough contains miniature orange trees, clipped myrtle and ferns creating a verdant atmosphere but with little scent to disturb the diners.

4. Pump Up the Volume

Playing with scale also helps create a rhythm through each area of plants that amplify the dramatic interiors. Stately forms of fig and Alocasia provide a backdrop to glossy evergreens. “The plants bring a domestic feeling but they also create an amazing atmosphere,” says Cameron, who also created the lush terraces and gardens at Annabel’s and The Ivy Chelsea.
Above: Playing with scale also helps create a rhythm through each area of plants that amplify the dramatic interiors. Stately forms of fig and Alocasia provide a backdrop to glossy evergreens. “The plants bring a domestic feeling but they also create an amazing atmosphere,” says Cameron, who also created the lush terraces and gardens at Annabel’s and The Ivy Chelsea.

5. Seasonal Additions

The year round planting will be updated seasonally with hydrangeas, azaleas, spring blooms such as narcissi and hyacinth, as well as other seasonal bulbs while many of the large specimens are underplanted with more diminutive forms of jasmine and Lily of the Valley. Clipped laurels and beautiful citrus trees introduce more height and color.
Above: The year round planting will be updated seasonally with hydrangeas, azaleas, spring blooms such as narcissi and hyacinth, as well as other seasonal bulbs while many of the large specimens are underplanted with more diminutive forms of jasmine and Lily of the Valley. Clipped laurels and beautiful citrus trees introduce more height and color.

6. Pot Power

“The pots really do a lot of the talking,” says Cameron who sourced the beautiful antique and reclaimed planters from specialist dealers. Myriad urns, pots and troughs in stone, cast iron or terracotta in all different sizes are beautifully combined. “They are very much a part of the design process—they are as important as the plants themselves.”
Above: “The pots really do a lot of the talking,” says Cameron who sourced the beautiful antique and reclaimed planters from specialist dealers. Myriad urns, pots and troughs in stone, cast iron or terracotta in all different sizes are beautifully combined. “They are very much a part of the design process—they are as important as the plants themselves.”

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