Beech Gardens is part of the podium immediately above Beech Street (the tunnel). It is the start of the North Podium – the upper level of the podium. You can look over the wall down into Defoe Place. Beech Gardens is surrounded by John Trundle Court, Bunyan Court and Bryer Court. It also extends towards Ben Jonson House and then on towards Cromwell Tower. There are shaped flower beds let into the tiled surface of the podium.
Beech Gardens incorporates a small water feature with a fountain and a ‘sculpture’ (possibly) but it could just be a large rock.
There was a major refurbishment which seemed to go on for years – in fact it did go on for years. Beech Gardens and the lake in front of Bryer Court were dug up and the whole area relined to prevent water penetration into the commercial properties below.
Before this upheaval the flower beds were quite formal. The flowers were regularly replaced by the City’s gardeners during the Spring and Summer months to ensure a constantly fabulous and colourful display to improve the day for any lucky person strolling by or relaxing and reading a paper on one of the benches.
Beech Gardens before the 2015 refurbishment
After completion of the water-proofing and re-surfacing works in Beech Gardens in May 2015, Professor Nigel Dunnett of Sheffield University was commissioned to design the new gardens, The City were probably looking for a lower maintenance, more sustainable scheme, with a much more naturalistic look. Nigel Dunnett obliged with a very interesting design, which he explains on his website www.nigeldunnett.com/barbican/