Hello. I am Tessa Parikian of tessa parikian garden design. I specialise in design for anyone who is keen to make their garden more wildlife friendly.
How long have you lived in the area?
I have lived in SE London all my adult life, moving to Brockley as a young actor when I joined Cats in the West End. I have lived in West Norwood for 10 years.
What brought you here?
We moved here when Olli was four. We had a garden but I wanted him to have somewhere he could run out the back door into the garden on his own. We found this house which, by London standards, had a good sized garden. Perfect.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t do without?
If I’m allowed two: my garden and my allotment on Rosendale Road. Watching the rhythms of the year keeps me grounded and happy.
The most famous person you have seen or met?
When I was an actor I was in a film called Tea With Mussolini. The cast included Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright, Cher and Lily Tomlin. It was my first film and they were all charming.
Describe your perfect weekend?
A sunny spring morning walking to my allotment. Weeding, planting, looking, sitting, chatting to my allotment neighbour. Coming home and sitting on the terrace with my family for lunch.
Pottering about in the garden, checking what plants are coming up. Lying in on Sunday and having pancakes made by my son. Going out for an early supper to a local pub.
Coﬀee or tea? Where….
Tea. In bed. Preferably if it has been brought to me!
The best meal I have ever had….
I love Chez Bruce in Wandsworth. My husband’s birthday was in the middle of the first lockdown. I promised to treat him to a slap-up meal when we were ‘out of all this’. So I did. I have never had a bad meal there, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. We will go again when we are out of this lockdown.
What’s your favourite place to go for a drink?
The Great North Wood, just down the road, which serves good pub food. It has a small garden — lovely in the summer. We were so excited when it opened. So, it seemed, was the rest of West Norwood.
The best kept secret and my favourite place to walk………
West Norwood Cemetery is one of the Magnificent Seven Victorian cemeteries. I have walked there a lot during lockdown. My husband is a birdwatcher and he is always pointing out a bird here or birdsong there. When we see our local peregrines swooping low in the sky it’s always amusing as the pigeons get their knickers in a twist.
What is your favourite shop?
Green’s Village Toy Shop and Stationers. They have lots of what I need for my design work. When I run out of pencils, rubbers, water colours and sketch books it’s to the Stationers I go.
The book I’m reading at the moment…
Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake about fungi.
If money was no object….
I would buy everyone a green heating system.