The Derek Jarman Garden, Bold Tendencies

Peckham, London

Project Length
4 weeks

What we did
Garden design, Landscaping, Planting, Garden talks

Derek Jarman left behind an extraordinary legacy perched on the wild dynamic landscape of the beach at Dungeness - his beloved home, surrounded by a marvel of a garden. 

Often portrayed in books and film, the garden has since come to be recognised as a spectacular artwork.  The work of the late film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener and author has seen a revival over the past few years, giving even more critical context to the project.

The Derek Jarman Garden, Bold Tendencies. Clip courtesy of Peter Landers, 2018.

... this year’s outstanding installation, The Derek Jarman Garden, created by landscape designer Dan Bristow and Keith Collins, Jarman’s last partner and keeper of his Prospect Cottage and garden in Dungeness. The design here brings the free-spirited character of the original – the rough delicacy of its shingle patterns, hardy plants,
spurting biomorphic metal sculptures, bursts of colour, absence of boundaries or fences – to Peckham’s windswept roof: art and life flourishing in a harsh urban climate.
— Jackie Wullschlager of the Financial Times

Rugged yet graceful

Our garden draws on the rugged yet graceful horticultural spirit of Jarman's Prospect Cottage and adapts it to an urban context.  It includes many truly rare species alongside the more familiar; Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme. The use of xerophytic (drought-tolerant) desert plants such as Yucca rostrata, Acacia melanoxylon and Agave Americana is sensitive to the climatic conditions on top of a roof.

This space is a vital botanic destination in its own right, as well as providing a green and contemplative counterpoint to Frank’s Café.  It captures the imagination across a range of ages and cultures, and as an example of urban landscape design is completely unique.  Its windblown aesthetic and responsible use of suitable planting will give pleasure to many over many years to come.

Kindly supported by Cass Art.

The Derek Jarman Garden, 2013, including Sterling Ruby, Black Stove 3, 2014. Photography by Damian Griffiths and Oskar Proctor. Courtesy of Bold Tendencies.  

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