Being queue averse, I abandoned Van Gogh at the Royal Academy and went to look at two green walls planted nearby last year, each in a blast of publicity. At Anthropologie, left, an American shop for women's clothes in Regent's Street, the indoor wall is sustained by UV lights. It spans three storeys. At the Athenaeum hotel, right, in Piccadilly, the wall clothes one corner of the building.
In both cases the modular planting pockets are visible, salt deposits have accumulated (not so attractive) and some species clearly do better than others.
Green walls are expensive to install and intensive to maintain. These two examples felt to me as sustainable as annual bedding, and a bit sad. Neither shoppers nor tourists looked at them.
There is something in green walls, and I want them to work, but I think the difficulty of keeping them looking good will mean they are a passing fashion and unlikely to attract many more corporate commissions.
Across the road, un-designer, unfashionable and really rather vulgar :) narcissi and cheery blossom brought joy to all in Green Park, left in front of Buckingham Palace, and right, behind the Foreign Office.
I'm a grower, gardener and qualified designer living and working in South London. I teach horticulture at Capel Manor College, at their site in Regent's Park, and I coordinate the volunteers of Garden Organic's South London Master Gardener programme.
Please visit my business website to find out about how the garden design and horticulture training services I offer - vivekagardens.com
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