Amidst the brutal, functional concrete of London’s Southbank there is no place for fancy, pretty,  itsy bitsy planting

This is like a room divider between the main riverside promenade and the National theatre itself, with walkways through.

 It makes a bold, confident, but low division of space. 

We like that it is a barrier but somehow not. But what we also  like about it is the juxtaposition. According to the on-line dictionary this means ‘to place 2 or more things together side by side, especially in order to suggest a link between them or emphasize the contrast between them.’ But we always use it in the ‘contrast’ sense. And that is the sense in which we use the word here.

However much we garden designers bang on about unity and harmony a little bit of contrast is what actually jazzes things up and makes us feel a mite more lively!

Opposites attract and make each other more so.

Here, cubes of yew and pheasant grass  represent complete contrasts of  form, texture, movement and colour.

The yew is a static, dense, dark cube, while the grass is floating free, loose and light catching. The whole effect is of the ‘smart- casual’ dress which the theatre goers might adopt as their uniform!

This is alternated in places, but not in any sense numerically with blocks of yew themselves alternated with pachysandra procumbens. So three juxtapositions in one space.

The yew and pachysandra combination is much more subtle. There is still justaposition of  texture, colour and this time height. But the effect is of a suit or little black dress. Quite severe and grand. Maybe these guys sit in a box!

Life’s about juxtaposition.

Apparently the more so since we see the dictionary’s meaning is more flexible than ours!

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