The London parking space that was converted to a contemporary courtyard garden

Landscape architecture by Alexandra Noble, Alexandra Noble Design.

With each season comes subtle changes for this endearing London garden. While new life flourishes as the seasons shift, the intended minimalist black and white scheme of the garden is consistently maintained year-round.   

This former parking space has been completely transformed by London-based landscape designer Alexandra Noble, with the final product being a one-of-a-kind small scale garden that has been tailored beautifully to the homeowner’s individual style.

The Brief

Utilising only the size of a small off-street car park, maximising the area available was a key objective for the garden. The intention was to have a garden that was functional, looked great and was continuously evolving with each shift in season. 

The transformed space would be used as a walk-way when entering and exiting the property. It was also the main view from the homeowner’s window of the music studio they worked from, so a garden that they never tired of looking at was paramount for the homeowner.   

The owner was specific with his desire for a simple and uncluttered design. A recent extension to the dwelling meant that there was an already existing black timber backdrop and tiles that were inspired by the minimalist style of Donald Judd. These two aspects provided some starting characteristics for the design to build upon and draw inspiration from.

The Transformation

Consistency year round is provided with plants of grey and green colourings like cardoon (artichoke thistle), echium, euphorbia and rosemary. All of these plants provide a base of colour for the garden, with new bulbs and plantings thriving among them during their respective seasons.

The multi-stem cherry tree (Prunus Shirotae) is a key feature in this garden, tying in with the planting in the neighbouring property. Gentle tones of pink blossoms flourish during spring, softening the black and white architectural features.

Bulbs of Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and tulips: ‘Purissima’, ‘Mount Tacoma’, ‘Snow Parrot’ and ‘Queen of Night’ also rear their heads during spring.

As seasons shift and the weather warms, new life comes to play. Biennials, perennials and umbellifers like Valeriana officinalis, Selinum wallichianum, Thalictrum ‘Elin’, Centranthus ruber ‘Albus,’ Gaura lindheimeri and Erigeron karvinskianus are on show during summer. 

During summer we also see Rosa sericea pteracantha blooming in white – a stark contrast from its winter appearance where there are no longer any blooms or foliage but rather its red thorns as the main display. 

The Result

Thoughtful planning for seasons ahead have led to the creation of a captivating garden that can be enjoyed throughout the year. `

With the multiple layers and dimensions to this garden design, it promises surprise and a growing appreciation for it the more time you spend in it. 

Key Plant List


  • Echium
  • Euphorbia
  • Rosemary
  • Valeriana officinalis (Valerian)
  • Selinum wallichianum
  • Thalictrum ‘Elin’ 
  • Centranthus ruber ‘Albus’ (Red Valerian)
  • Gaura lindheimeri (Whirling butterflies)
  • Fargesia murielae (umbrella bamboo)
  • Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican daisy)
  • Rosa sericea subsp. omeiensis f. pteracantha (
  • Prunus Shirotae (flowering cherry)


  • Narcissus ‘Thalia’
  • Tulip ‘Purissima’
  • Tulip ‘Mount Tacoma’
  • Tulip ‘Snow Parrot’
  • Tulip ‘Queen of the Night’
Prunus Shirotae blossoms
Narcissus ‘Thalia’ & Tulip ‘Snow Parrot’
Landscape design by Alexandra Noble Design

Photography by Eva Nemeth