Escape to the country
Country Life UK|October 06, 2021
Mulholland House, Hampstead, London NW3, proves you can create abundance and plenty in the heart of the city, says Tiffany Daneff
Tiffany Daneff

THE list of plants reads like that from an established country garden: phlox, hollyhocks, delphiniums, lupins, poppies, asters and dahlias, with broad beans in the vegetable beds, pots of strawberries and apples to pick. This is only a snapshot of the brimming beds and borders that fill this private garden in Hampstead, north London, which was planted in the autumn of 2019 and, only two years later, is humming with honeybees.

When Rebecca Glassberg moved here in 2017 with her husband and their young family, the garden had been mostly laid to the terrace for entertaining outdoors, but she had a very different vision for the red-brick Arts-and crafts house, which dates from 1910. ‘I wanted something with more color and more plants and to feel the seasons changing,’ says Mrs Glassberg. ‘I like to see a garden overflow with plants—that kind of Sissinghurst madness —so it all looks unplanned and busy.’

This it most certainly is. First impressions are of massed color and cottagey beds brimming with flowers jostling for attention. In the corner behind the dining table, water trickles from a simple fountain. In all, the garden measures only 65ft by 65ft, but it is so full that it feels much bigger. The overall effect is one of simple abundance, of great armfuls of white ‘Iceberg’ roses, together with rambling, repeat-flowering ‘Malvern Hills’ roses tumbling from their cast-iron supports and paths edged with catmint and berries ripening in the strawberry pots.

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