The ivy-clad brick house that interior design Rose Uniacke and her film producer husband, David Heyman, bought in central London a few years back came with a pedigree.
Built in 1861 by James Rannie Swinton, a Scottish high-society portrait painter, the three-story Georgian Revival-style mansion had a glass-roofed conservatory where paintings had once been on display. For 19th-century clients who commissioned a portrait, the sitting took place in an adjoining room that was Swinton’s studio.
By the time Uniacke and Heyman bought the house in 2007, the building had been divided into apartments, complete with fire-door partitions. For Uniacke, who has an eponymous shop on London’s Pimlico Road, renovating the house took four years.
During the overhaul, Uniacke created two unusual–and extremely charming–gardens. Landscape designer Tom Stuart-Smith took charge of the mechanics, coming up with design solutions and choosing plants that would thrive. You may remember seeing the the glass-roofed conservatory garden in our post Among the Orchids: Designer Rose Uniacke at Home in London (and in greater detail in our Gardenista book). Now, let’s visit an enclosed space on the side of the house which has been transformed into a sunny and sheltered terrace garden.
Photography by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.
To seamlessly integrate the terrace garden into the flow of the interior spaces, adjustments were in order. “The garden was very low and disconnected from the house,” Stuart-Smith said, “so before doing anything we lifted the level by three feet.”
A mix of different planters and different types of foliage give the terrace garden an informal look.
Tour more of our favorite city gardens for inspiration:
N.B: This post is an update; it was first published February 2019.