Merton Court Commemoration Garden
“The Merton Court commemoration garden opened on the 6th November with a service to commemorate former pupils who had served and lost their lives in the First World War.
Designed by Phil Paton and Julia Keem, the garden has a winding path that leads through 22 birch trees, with luminous white bark, each one representing a fallen soldier. The trees were suggested by the Headmaster after a trip to France with the school but also represent regrowth with the path leading through the trees with a feeling of hope.
The new path also provides access up what was steep, muddy waste ground to a terrace, wide steps and lawned area where pupils and teachers can sit or have lessons. An astroturf area alongside the path connects classroom x to the classroom y.
Shaded woodland planting and bulbs provide interest through the school calendar and attract wildlife. Tall grasses create screens and movement so children will be excited to see what is behind the next corner.
This year, the 6 ex-Merton Court pupils who lost their lives 100 years ago in World War One were commemorated with a plaque, with the remaining on the roll of honour to receive a commemorative plaque in due course.
Phil Paton and Julia Keem graduated from the University of Greenwich in 2012 with degrees in Garden Design and work in London and the South East. Phil Paton also maintains the gardens at Merton Court and Mayfair construction built the garden with an ex-pupil, Nigel Henry as site manager.”