Week 28 – Around we go…
Ideas are all around us. Personally I find they dance around inside my head and drift across my subconscious mind like clouds. Often, like a dream, they fade when I wake, but sometimes they stick and solidify in my minds eye. Then I can feel the idea growing.
For years I’ve been pondering how to create a living surface that’s not 2D and flat but 3D, with depth and possibly movement. Time and again it was a ball, globe or sphere like shape I seemed to gravitate towards. Now, I know how to create living walls, but a living sphere, that’s a bit harder. Then one day a few months ago, I literally work up from a dream and bingo… my subconscious mind had worked it out for me.
So, over the last few months I’ve been working in my new nursery developing my idea, and this is the result. My living sphere. This is no short term hanging basket for the summer months, this is botanical ball of perennial plants that, just like my living walls will develop and grow over years and last for decades if maintained correctly.
Like my hydroponic living walls they will be automatically watered (and so fed) keeping maintenance to a minimum and like my living walls they will hopefully delight, entertain and facinate all those that enjoy the beauty of the botanical world. I’m delighted with the result and I hope some of you out there will like them as much as I do.
The spheres will come in several sizes, S, M, L, XL (and possibly an XXL for those with commercial size spaces). Please email us to register your interest in ordering one of our original living spheres.
Week 27 – Grand Designs
It’s always nice to see our work in print, so thank you Andrea Manley for including some of our projects in your article on green roofs and living walls in this months issue of Grand Designs magazine. The article features an image from the very first wall I created in Hackney, London back in 2009 . The living wall was part of what turned out to be a pretty amazing roof garden that featured a glass bottomed pool, polished concrete fire pit and of course, the ultimate accessory, a fully stocked bar!
Week 26 – Feeling hot, hot, hot, hot…
It’s hotting up, down in Devon… and things are starting to get a little crowded at the nursery in South Milton. We’ve got multiple living walls developing nicely, all ready and waiting to be shipped to various locations across London. Whenever possible we like to plant the walls well in advance of the installation date, allowing us to keep a close eye on the plants as they develop and grow, sending out roots and settling in to their new vertical home.
Week 25 – London tour part 2
On our tour of London last week I was delighted to see how well our living walls are doing, so much so, I wanted to share another image. This time it’s a wall we installed this time last summer in Belsize Park.
Week 24 – A tour of London
This week I’m back in London to check on a number of living walls we’ve installed over the last few years. A couple needed a little attention, others however required nothing more than for me to stand and appreciate what a fantastic job everyone who is involved with producing our living walls has done. When our combined hard work comes together and the plants start doing there thing… well it’s simply a pleasure to behold. This wall in Swiss Cottage was installed just a few months ago, and I am absolutely delighted. It’s one of our best yet. Congratulations team TLA for a job well done.
Week 23 – Looking good in Knightsbridge
The well heeled folk who reside in the exclusive Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (London) are always well turned out and looking their best. The cars on the streets are shiny, supercharged and often driven by chauffeurs. The facades of houses are tall, white and often hide a multitude of fabulous treasures behind them. Last week Will returned to check on this living wall, created for one such home owner a few years back and took these images so I could assess (from my sleepy seaside retreat) how the wall is doing. I say it’s doing just great, looking good, dressed in it’s horticultural finery. The Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ is almost always the first down the catwalk with the Campanula poscharskyana ‘Stella’ not far behind. However, I’m more than happy to wait a little longer for my favourite, the Begonia grands subs. evansiana to stride out for the finale (and usually close the show). With it’s nodding clusters of slightly fragrant pale pink or white flowers I’ve loved this beauty from the first time I cast my eye upon it. Bravo!
Week 22 – Plant hunting
An essential part of what makes any garden or living wall interesting is the plant selection. Finding and testing out new plants is an exciting, fascinating and important job. I love discovering a new nursery and nothing can quite beat the tingle of excitement brought about by the anticipation of stumbling upon a new plant. I’m relatively fresh to the world of plant hunting, so I’m constantly ‘stumbling’ across lots of plants that I am unfamiliar with… or to be more honest, have simply never heard of before. Shame on me. However, plants are not something to be scared of or worried about using. They are to be picked up, paid for and whisked home to gaze upon for several minutes, hours or indeed days, before inserting into a new planting scheme. The pleasure of watching a new plant working it’s magic amongst other beauties is simply one of the great joys of my life. I am always happy when I’m planting. That’s why I constantly have mud under my finger nails.
Week 21 – Nottingham
This week, we returned once more to sunny Nottingham. Dr Neil Rotherham’s garden is fabulous. He’s a great gardener. I’ve never told him this, but when he asked us to create him a living wall that he could enjoy from his new kitchen window, I was slightly nervous. It’s a tricky spot, occupying a once forgotten shady slice of the garden that runs down the side of the house. It was one of those awkward, overlooked spaces… but it is no longer ignored or unloved. It is now celebrated, admired and commented on over a glass of wine. Best of all it is now a much loved space and one in which Dr Rotherham spends many an hour gently pruning off dead leaves and spent flower heads.
Week 20 – Villefranch-Sur-Mer
A few weeks ago I returned with my trusted colleague Alan to carry out some maintenance in a garden we created in Villefranch-Sur-Mer a few years ago. It is a fabulous spot on the south coast of France. It was a tough week, but somehow we managed to get through it, and despite the numerous challenges we faced we were even able to force a smile for this photo taken on the last day…
Week 19 – Dangerous plants
It is quite easy to pick up an injury in our line of work if you are not careful. A sore back from too much digging. Shredded arms from clearing brambles. Cut fingers from pruning. A mild case of sunstroke or frostbite from being exposed to the elements. Tick. Tick Tick. Tick. I never expected that I’d manage to break a thumb though. Whilst not being able to drive for six weeks is a complete pain I guess I should be thankful that my thumb doesn’t actually hurt very much.