A Good Newts Story

This feels like a secret garden, almost a wildlife habitat in the city. Like most of our gardens in Primrose Hill, it gets the sun in patches and at different times of the day. “It has evolved over the last twenty years with the family: places for them to dig worms when they were little, a hidden tree house at the end for pre-teens, and nowadays the tortoises have free wandering rights all summer,” said owner Miranda, who not only nurtures tortoises but also newts, frogs and toads in two small ponds. “I don’t believe in persevering; my planting plan is ‘What grows stays’.”

A wrought-iron frame covered by a fragrant climbing rose, Alberic Barbier, mingled with a vine, marks the boundary between terrace and grass. A golden philadelphus gives a splash of sunshine near a Daphne Odora Marginata, with early spring blossoms and yellow-tipped evergreen leaves – “the best for London gardens,” says Miranda. “It’s amazing what can be packed into the standard strip behind a terraced house.”


Photo by Lars Christiansen

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