Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 7 April 2017

The Great Green Wall Hunt: Unexpected items in the London area

It's a while since I posted about green or living walls, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about them. I pondered extending my search during our trip to London last week, but dismissed the idea as this time last year showed they weren't growing that well.

However, nature took its own course and in the process of our walks around London, instead of me finding green walls, they found me.

Green wall at British Land's introduction to Paddington Central

As well as the blossom I highlighted earlier this week, the new Paddington Central development provided a rich seam of green wallery [is that actually a word? ~ Ed].

Here is my first find, which is one of the more unusual 'window box' styles of green walls, and is the largest example of this type I've found so far. I wonder if it's a temporary installation that will go when the development is complete? I haven't managed to find out much about this example online, hence why it didn't make my initial list of green walls to hunt for last year.

Not all of the green walls at Paddington central had real plants
Beware, all is not what it seems, the little box you can see above the British Land sign contains plastic plants.

Further examples of these were scattered throughout the site on some of the information boards. I imagine it's because these smaller planters would be more difficult to maintain to a good standard.

Surprisingly realistic, no?


A close up of the 'window box' style planters

The above photo gives you a better idea of the main wall's construction, with a little hint in the background of what's coming up next...

Paddington Central's main green wall

This is a more familiar looking green wall as seen in previous Great Green Wall Hunts, which looks like the kind usually installed by Biotecture and/or Scotscape (it has the characteristic round planting holes of their work). Now I know it's there a quick google reveals it was installed in September 2015.

Tweet showing the green wall's construction in progress

I'll return to this area again, as there are canal walks, public art and Chelsea Fringe events to explore.

Later on that afternoon, we arrived in Camden Town, where a walk up the road to Camden Lock revealed...

Viacom's green wall at Camden Lock

Now this green wall is on last year's green wall hunt list, only I didn't get the opportunity to go out to Camden to find it. I think it's nicer to have come across it unexpectedly, don't you? 

The wall clothes the Viacom building (home of MTV et al.), formerly the studios of TV-am, which was remodelled and converted in 2013. Most of the internet references to this green wall, show the courtyard version constructed in 2013. It looks like the building has since been extended outwards and this version was installed in 2016. 

Let's creep up a little closer shall we...

A closer look at the green wall - I love the rest of the colourful exterior too

I'm pleased to have got 2017's Great Green Wall Hunt off to such a good start. Next on my list is to find the one on Bristol University's Life Sciences building. 

I'm also interested if you know of any green walls near where you live - it's clear they're becoming more common outside of London and on a wider variety of developments.

12 comments:

  1. Amazing constructions. I shall look out for the Bristol University one next time I'm that way.

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    1. It's on St Michael's Hill if you know that area of Bristol CJ

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  2. Many, many, many years ago I had a green wall in my garden and I loved it. Maybe I should have another go?

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    1. Hi Libby and welcome to Veg Plotting! I'd love to see your green wall if you have any photos of it :)

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  3. Even I didn't know that Camden green wall was there ... I never look past the old TV-AM building when visiting Sainsbury's! Next time I'm down that way, I won't be in such a hurry. Did you enjoy Camden Lock? I think it's so crowded now, I avoid it unless walking along the canal to Regent's Park. A green wall that I always notice sprung up on the North Circ (A406) about a year ago - it's on the westbound side coming up to the traffic lights where the A502 crosses the North Circ, you can see it on Google Maps street view. Amazingly next to all that traffic, it looks as though it's thriving.

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    1. We wondered how all the stall holders make a living as most of them are selling stuff that no-one wants to buy. Loved the history of the horse yard though. We walked back to Paddington along the canal - a great way to see a different view of the city - more on that next week. Quite a few green walls have been installed with anti-pollution measures in mind (amongst others) - the one at Edgware Road Bakerloo Line station is an example - so perhaps that's why the one you've seen is there.

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    2. Camden Market is so full of tat these days that it's just a tourist venue now. I remember when it was genuinely filled with craft makers and you could pick up some lovely things; now at least the food is tasty! The yard was more atmospheric before they tarted the market up a few years ago but the statues do highlight the historical aspect of the horse hospital and the canals. The canal is still a beautiful walk, and very calming after the bustle of the market.

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  4. Naughty Rachel who linked to a commercial website said: Makes me want to go on a Great Green Wall Hunt too.:) I hope that sentiment was genuine at least ;)

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    1. Sorry about that.
      Hey,the comment was genuine and I do read your blog.

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    2. Hi Rachel - that's good to know, thanks for coming back and explaining :) Blogs get a lot of spam comments, hence my caution with yours. Usually I just delete them, but yours did look different to most, hence my copying and pasting it back.

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  5. The Camden green wall is most eye-catching. As far as I'm aware there are no such specimens locally VP. The one and only green wall I've encountered to date was in Berlin in 2015. I must post a photo of it on my blog one of these days.

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    1. Ooh, I'd like to see that Anna. I've seen there's some in the Wrexham area, so they're headed your way...

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I love hearing from you and welcome thoughtful conversations :)

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