Patmore Sundial Gardens was a horticultural installation that we designed on Patmore Estate in Nine Elms. The installation was created in partnership with Edible Avenue SW8. The project was commissioned by Nine Elms Vauxhall Partnership for the Chelsea Fringe 2018 at Nine Elms on the South Bank.

(c) Mickey Lee for Nine Elms on the Southbank

The installation consisted of four gardens, the largest of which was an interactive sundial, created using plants in a full spectrum of colour. Visitors would stand at the centre of the sundial, and the shadow they cast on the garden would be used to tell the time of the day.

From here, visitors would follow their shadow and a coloured trail through the estate to find the Morning, Midday, and Evening Gardens. Each garden was planted with a colour scheme relating to the colours on the sundial for the same time of day.

The Morning Garden was a densely-planted bed of hot, clashing colours and playful forms, designed to wake you up in the morning. The Midday Garden contained Mediterranean plants and a silver-yellow colour scheme to evoke the heat and light of the midday sun. Fennel grew here which could be harvested to brew a tea that aides in the digestion of a heavy lunch. Finally, the Evening Garden was planted with scented climbers and a cool, calming colour scheme of blues, purples and whites that stand out in the evening light. Chamomile was available to harvest to brew a tea before bed.

(c) Mickey Lee for Nine Elms on the Southbank

Residents across Patmore Estate were invited to help with the planting of the gardens, and joined us at the launch of the installation for a celebration of their hard work. After Chelsea Fringe had finished, the sundial was removed and the plants dispersed across the estate. The Morning, Midday and Evening Gardens remained on the estate and they are maintained by the Edible Avenue SW8 team as part of their regular Friday volunteering sessions.

During the Chelsea Fringe, we brought children attending Garden Club at St. George’s Primary School on a tour of the four gardens, to learn about colour theory in gardening, and to taste some of the edible plants. You can learn more about our work with St. George’s school here, and more about our work in partnership with Edible Avenue SW8 here.

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