Seen at the Festival of the Tree

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

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Introducing... the Great Green Wall Hunt

A green wall at Longo's supermarket in downtown Toronto last year - remarkable that it was indoors and in the basement
The green wall at Longo's supermarket in downtown Toronto
The first garden photograph I took at the Garden Bloggers Fling in Toronto last year was before the Fling had even started. NAH and I had gone in search of a healthy breakfast at the supermarket close to our hotel, where we found the fresh fruit and yoghurt as expected. Then on the way to the checkout, the totally unexpected hove into view.

Until then I'd thought green aka living walls were the sole preserve of more upmarket establishments - like the one at the Athenaeum hotel I visited last year - rather than everyday supermarkets. I think it's a wonderful way of thanking customers for their visit and it gave us something pleasant to look at whilst we waited at the checkout.

It was the first time I'd seen one indoors too. This one's in the supermarket's basement - a surprising location until you realise a lot of shopping in Toronto is conducted underground owing to Canada's severe winters. Longo's green wall won an award in 2011 and its location means it's lit artificially. I haven't been able to find out if a particular type of lighting is used to help the plants thrive.

Back home, I filed the subject of green walls away under 'too expensive to catch on' and 'something that's done better in Canada'. However, when I posted a photo of a bench at Charing Cross recently, I linked to the 150 great things about the Underground website, and found a 'you may also like this' link which made me think again.

Item number 39 on that website is the wall of plants at Edgware Road, an everyday kinda place like my Canadian supermarket. A quick google later, and I found all kinds of green walls have popped up in the last few years, and in lots of different places.

I'm off to London for a couple of days, where I'm going to photograph some of the green walls I've found online. I'll post these in my new Great Green Wall Hunt series, which will also look at the types of green wall out there and their benefits.

I can't possibly find and photograph them all, so feel free if you want to join in the Hunt with a blog post of your own. Let me know if you do :)


  1. The Edgeware Road one looks wildly spectacular in the photo - though I'm not sure how well I'm distinguishing between wall / hedge / trees beyond.

    1. Hi Esther - the pictures in the link are all of the living wall.


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