Wednesday, 14 October 2015

green walls without the work

Every visit to London now, I walk past green walls - tapestried masses of greenery webbed into a matrix of plastic pots and watering systems, rugged plant cover nodding cheerfully in the increasingly unpolluted air. It's a good look, but to run it effectively you need to install a vertical hydroponics system (and thoroughly waterproof your wall). This isn't something that's going to happen in my back garden any time soon.

However, I am doing the cheap version, by trimming narrow shrubs and vines to verticality and swaddling them in creepers. My walls become ever greener, though some of the plants I've picked are slow and steady (though the grape vine, the passion flower and the ivy all show signs of taking over).

It doesn't have to go slow, though; meet this year's growth on the back of a garage I walked past on the way to the library the other week. There's a garage door under that, not that you'd know. Virginia Creeper and Russian Vine, having a lovely time and aiming fr full coverage. The former is classy like Wisteria is classy - if you have it, you probably also have a gardener to keep it in check. The latter is an invasive weed, though I did once (when much younger) plant one to cover an ugly garage full of the landlord's rubbish spare furniture. It ended up being outcompeted by the lawn. British lawns are nails.

vine medley

My neighbour, a few years after he uprooted the large-leaved decorative ivy that was starting to prise open the windows and invade the loft, has now planted a Virginia Creeper in the same place. It's doing well, and looks lovely, but I wonder if in three year's time, it might go the same way as the ivy, and in another five, Wisteria will appear, as the next gentrification shockwave ripples through the front gardens.

No comments:

Post a Comment