Behind the scenes
The gateway to Covent Garden has been transformed into a ‘vertical park’ with a living wall covering over 1,500 sq ft of the building facade on the corner of Long Acre and James Street - part of a greening initiative recreating the area’s garden heritage.
The wall has varying tones of green with red, pink and mauve, designed so that points of interest are visible year round, evoking Covent Garden’s colourful past as a Flower Market.
Over 8,000 plants and 21 different species have been planted over an area of 1,500sq ft with multiple purposes - to refine the quality of the air, increase the area’s biodiversity, capture pollution particles and offer the beauty of a vertical park. It is watered by a drip irrigation system which is run on up to 80% rainwater harvesting dependent on the weather and season.
Designed by expert living wall specialists Biotecture, who abseiled down the building’s façade to plant the living wall, the plants chosen have been considered for biodiversity providing for birds and insects as well as for their environmental benefits in improving air quality. Amongst the wildlife the flora is expected to attract are birds as well as bees and butterflies.
The living wall is the latest development in the re-greening of Covent Garden which is already blooming thanks to over 100 flower crates and barrows around the Piazza, a nod to the market heritage of the area. Elements of the award winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden ‘500 Years of Covent Garden’, including 60 year old apple trees.