Week 41 – Pretty as a picture (or three)
This week I visited a project we installed in Highgate earlier this year to run some maintenance. The scheme involves five living walls, sat amongst slatted timber work, that act to transform the front garden. My personal favourite are the set of three small living walls that run along the southern boundary of the space and are framed like a set of large living paintings. Watching them sway in the gentle breeze on a sunny autumn day is a thing of joy. I am not so keen on the aesthetics of the Tesla charger but anything that is good for the planet is fine my me.
Week 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40 – Oops, sorry…
Despite his best intentions to write a blog every week this year Adam got distracted over the summer by the mountain of work we have had to deal with. Well that is what he says. Personally I suspect the amazing weather and gorgeous Devon beaches may have had something to do with it. This photo is of the beach that is about half a mile from our nursery. Hmm….
Week 31 – Kenway Nurseries
When creating our living walls we use a huge number of plants. Hundreds, turn into thousands quite easily. One supplier that deserves a mention is Jason Kenway. The plants I get from his nursery, Kenway Nurseries are always excellent. The effort that must go into producing such large quantities of plants whilst maintaining such a high standard is impressive. Their plants now account for around 75% of the stock we use in our living walls and I think they look great. In this section of living wall, you can see another fabulous Persicaria (P. microcephaly ‘Purple Fantasy’) fighting it’s way through a mass of soleirolia soleirolii, along with Acorus gramineus ‘Variegates’ and a handful of Viola odorata ‘Königin Charlotte’ and some wonderful (still yet to flower) Dierama pulcherrimum.
Week 30 – Persicaria campanulata ‘Madame Jigard’
Persicaria are commonly known as knotweeds. Personally, I think the weed part of it’s common name is a bit unfortunate as they are far from being weeds. I love almost all varieties of Persicaria and most are readily available but P. campanula ‘Madame Jigard’ is not an easy plant to find let alone buy. It’s rarely offered for sale, which I suspect is likely to change quite quickly as it’s a fantastic form of this genus. Native to the Himalayas, it’s a semi-evergreen perennial with a distinctive reddish-bronze, centre vein in the leaves. It’s stems remind me of gnarly fingers, with multiple knuckles and joints along it’s length. Once it gets a foothold, it seems to grow fairly quickly, putting out leaves at a fairly decent pace. Apparently it flowers all summer, but this is my first season working with this beauty, so I have yet to witness how long it actually flowers for here in sunny Devon. So far it’s performed brilliantly, loving the moist surroundings of our living walls or in this case one of my new living spheres. This particular Persicaria has just shot straight to the top of my go-to plants list.
Week 29 – The professionals
Working with professionals that really know what they’re doing is always a pleasure. John Davies is an excellent garden designer and The Garden Builders have executed his designs perfectly. We’ve created a number of living walls for John over the last few years and think that this is probably one of our best. Thanks to the excellent planning and an easy working relationship with both John and The Garden Builders this job was delivered on time and without issue. We are delighted with how the wall looks and know for a fact that the client is too! Please follow this link to see lots more images of this fabulous garden.
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.