A story of three green walls on my walk to work.
Best of all the magnificent wall at the side of the Bakerloo Line entrance at Elephant & Castle, well established and now in full glorious bloom. Presumably this space could be earning someone a large amount of advertising cash, instead if you glance up for a moment you get a vertical garden above the traffic. Brilliant.
New-ish on the side of a residential tower opposite the Castle Pool is a more modest but no less lovely block of planting, at people-height so more visible, part of generally good landscaping around this part of the development. While it gets settled in it looks like a half-finished tapestry and the stop-start of the plants is the thing that is so enjoyable, in stark contrast to
this: very new and very sad, an entirely plastic green wall outside Uncle, designed by Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners. With a weirdly uniform repeat and hyper-green colour it has nothing to do with anything natural. What is the thought process here? No doubt a living wall is an investment, and a bit of a hassle to maintain but this poor relation looks hideous, and I wouldn't bank on it lasting very long. More importantly, surely indefensible while we are banning plastic straws and talking plastic-free isles in supermarkets, amongst other things. If you can’t afford a green wall don't have one, do something else, but don't substitute plastic.