Hare Court, Inner Temple

A magical reimagining of one of London’s historic, hidden courtyards

The vision

At the heart of Temple Gardens in London’s legal district lies a hidden gem – Hare Court.  Surrounded on four sides by high buildings, the intimate garden had become little more than a thoroughfare; but Inner Temple’s Head Gardener, Andrea Brusendorf had ambitious plans for the space and approached us for help realising her vision.

Andrea’s hope was to transform this unassuming little courtyard into a cherished oasis – a peaceful place to be surrounded by nature while enjoying catching up with others or having a bite to eat.

The transformation

Andrea’s design created an enchanting woodland retreat, with four birch trees – symbolic of the four Hare Brothers who were members of the Inn in the late 16th and early 17th century – providing the centrepiece.

Softening the strikingly angular space was a priority for Andrea so we worked closely alongside her to create elegant, rounded beds and mounted contours to complement her new planting scheme.  The mounded contours also work to accentuate the carefully varying heights of her planting from low lying filigree like ferns through Autumn moor grasses to softly arching Tall Tales.

Preserving the courtyard’s rich heritage was another key part of our brief. So a meandering pathway was created to focus attention on the existing Old Purbeck pathways and drainage, which date back to the Great Fire of London.

Pathways were also made wider in places to incorporate seating that would encourage dwell time in this restful new space. A new larger terrace provides a fitting showcase for a stunning ‘Justice’ sculpture by Tanya Russell.

It was a genuine privilege to work with Andrea to uncover the hidden beauty of this under-used space and to transform it into an area much loved by residents and legal professionals based at Hare Court along with its many visitors.

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