Seen at The Festival of the Tree

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

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

ABC Wednesday – G is for…

Green Walls at Market Quarter

Green rooves are now a familiar sight to most UK gardeners. They’re very hip and trendy following their featuring in major garden events like Chelsea plus TV programmes such as Gardeners' World. Why, I’m even contemplating having one built onto my shed. Green walls are a more obscure version of the same concept. I don’t mean just growing climbers up the wall, like many of us already do, but actually putting a structure in place into which plants are used to clothe the wall. It helps to insulate the house – keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The pictured green wall is from the new ‘Eco Development’ in Chippenham. This is currently replacing part of the old Cattle Market site. The development’s controversial - because of what it’s replacing, it’s location (within what local residents call the largest cul de sac in Europe, thus major traffic chaos is predicted) and also because the homes are built higher than that specified during the local Planning process. I feel ambivalent to the development as this is part of my ‘Changing Chippenham’ series, but at least the buildings are better than the usual fare – both aesthetically and environmentally.

I’ve tried to find out what’s been planted in the walls – it looked like Sedum when I took the photograph. Perusal of the building company’s website doesn’t shed any light on the matter. I also asked my hairdresser last week as she’s bought one of the homes. She wasn’t even aware of their existence (she’s bought a house – the green walls are clothing the flats in a different part of the development), but she told me she does have a green roof as part of her balcony, which is used to filter the rainwater draining into her water butt.

Click here for the last photograph in my Changing Chippenham series.

ABC Wednesday is bought to you courtesy of Mrs Nesbitt's Place.

18 comments:

  1. Wow! I hadn't considered green walls as a possibility. Despite all the controversy that you mention, I can imagine that this aspect of the development would be a great success.

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  2. Never heard of it before. Normally we have a lot of ivy-mantled walls here, but not as you show in the photo. Interesting

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  3. Hi Veg,
    This is a wonderfull G Theme for ABC wednesday,I never saw green rooves but thare's blogging ood for ,to learn about other cultures..

    Greetings from JoAnn/Holland
    Visit my G for ABC wednesday

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  4. Green foofs, green walls. Very, very fascinating to me. I read somewhere that there are places in Germany that require anyone building a new flat roof make it into a green roof. The green roof movement is till in its fledgling stages here in Canada! But there are a few nice ones in Toronto.

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  5. Very rare and cool! :)

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  6. This is new... Never heard of a green wall like this before. But it is a very good idea!
    Great choice for G!

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  7. Green roofs (I never say rooves!) are an excellent idea. I wish there were more of them.

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  8. I've been reading and seeing tons of pictures of the green roofs. I have seen these green driveways and walkways that look just like this but well on the ground. I think that is a great idea for green walls. They have those boxes that you can put on your wall and have plants in them so it's kind of like this one. I too have wondered what they put in these.

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  9. Really different! I wonder how they stay green? Lots of rain? Great post for G!

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  10. That's a fascinating post! I'll have to look into it all.

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  11. That is a very interesting concept, I have never heard of it before. Great picture too, I love the angles.

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  12. Neat great information here I reall ylike that

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  13. I've seen something like that before, probably in Germany or Holland I think!

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  14. This is very interesting!!
    Great G Post!

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  15. Hi everyone - I'm glad a lot of you weren't aware of Green Walls - that's the great thing about ABC Wednesday isn't it?

    A lot of you have asked how it's done. I think in the main it's badly, as the example I've shown might be. However, I have seen a really good example of 1 in Paris, where a good watering/feeding system was installed to ensure lush growth. Unfortunately I couldn't find an example of that on the web to link to to show you all how it's done. As Flighty says, it's popular in 'greener' places like Germany, though I was pleased to find some English based links for my piece.

    Helena - I thought long and hard about saying rooves or roofs, but my English teacher got the better of me ;)

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