Vertical Green Wall in London is Flourishing After 4 Months

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Photo: B. Alter, Wall, October, 2011

Treehugger visited the vertical green wall at the National Gallery in London in June. It had just been installed and was looking young and fresh.

Now it is mid-October, and sadly, the wall is due to be pulled down at the end of the month. So how has it done over the summer of rain, more rain and more rain...

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Photo: B. Alter, Wall, October, 2011

The answer is, very well, indeed. The wall was created to depict a painting of Vincent Van Gogh: A Wheatfield, with Cypresses', done in September 1889. The idea was that the outside wall would draw the tourists and visitors inside to see the real thing.

Although it may have been a misery for Londoners, this was the perfect summer for the growth of a wall because it was very rainy. As a result, the greens have gotten greener and many little flowers are popping up. Little white daisies are appearing amidst the green, adding more colour than Van Gogh would have wanted.

Over 8,000 plants of 25 different varieties were used in the wall which was constructed by a horticulture and design company which specializes in green walls and roofs.

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Photo: B. Alter, Wall, September, 2011

Here is the wall in September, 2011. It is clear that the grasses have grown, so much so that some have been covered over by others.

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Photo: B. Alter, Wall, June, 2011

Here it is in June, 2011, looking fresh and young and newly planted.

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Photo: National GalleryA Wheatfield, with Cypresses 1889

Here's the Van Gogh painting that the whole idea was modeled after.

The wall is constructed of panels of plastic cells which slope towards the back. These hold the growing medium in which the plants grow. Due to their limited depth and their orientation (i.e. vertical, they do not receive rain water) they must be irrigated on a regular basis. The water must also include feed for the plant material if it is to remain healthy. Generally, each horizontal block of growing panels are treated as a distinct unit and are irrigated from the top down.

Behind the scenes there is a pumping unit, water tank, a mass of irrigation pipes and a feed dosing unit. A water analysis unit may be included as part of the system. This checks the levels of feed in the run off water to enable the feed dosing unit to automatically adjust the level of feed added to the irrigation water to the correct level.

More on Vertical Walls
Van Gogh Painting is a Vertical Green Wall
Madrid's Green Wall is Flourishing as is the Caixa Forum
Green Vertical Walls at the Chelsea Flower Show

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