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Jamaica Meets Clapham

The few short steps from an unremarkable London street through Wayne Amiel’s Victorian house feels like a journey to a faraway place.


GAP Photos/Nicola Stocken

Feature No:   4384 

Qty of Images:    44 


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Images available for use by license only.

‘I describe my garden as Jamaica meets Clapham,’ explains Wayne, an NHS manager working for a mental health trust. ‘I just love it. The idea is to get lost in small garden, and I do.’ His back garden is a love affair that had an unpromising start in 2009 as a north-facing pile of rubble where not a blade of grass grew. Having renovated the house, Wayne had no budget for a garden, but his nephews and nieces were still young enough to happily help him clear, level and grass over the 7m x 19m site. Thereafter, plants were gradually added, some half-dead-half-alive garden centre rejects, and others such as a magnificent tree fern, rescued from rubbish skips (with the owners’ permission!). And, all the while, Wayne grew plants from seeds and cuttings. Today, the plants have taken over, jostling for space, with at least 200 grown in containers. By late summer, shorter lilies, hostas, agapanthus and hydrangeas stake their claim in the tiered arrangements below eye level, whilst bananas, palms, bamboos, maples, birches, contorted willows and Tetrapanax papyrifera soar heavenwards, their canopies floating above the neighbouring gardens. In places, Wayne reckons the layer of soil is quite thin because of an old air raid shelter, but this works to his advantage by restricting the size of the trees.



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