Covent Garden launches sustainable green initiative

The gateway to Covent Garden in London will be transformed into a 'vertical park' this September, with a living wall covering more than 139 sq m of the building facade on the corner of Long Acre and James Street. This creation forms part of a greening initiative to recreate the area's garden heritage. The wall will have varying tones of green with red, pink and mauve, designed so that points of interest are visible all year round, evoking Covent Garden's colourful past as a flower market.

More than 8,000 plants and 21 different species will be planted over the 139 sq m area with multiple purposes – to refine the quality of the air, increase the area's biodiversity, capture pollution and offer the beauty of a vertical park. It will be watered by a drip irrigation system which will be run on up to 80 per cent rainwater harvesting dependent on the weather and season.

The living wall will be designed by Biotecture, who after abseiling down the wall, has considered the plant choices to help birds and insects as well as for their environmental benefits in improving air quality.

The living wall is the latest development in the re-greening of Covent Garden, which is already blooming thanks to more than 100 flower crates and barrows around the Piazza, another nod to the area's market heritage. Elements of the award-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden, '500 Years of Covent Garden, including 60 year old apple trees were installed in the Piazza in June to provide a summer terrace garden for visitors.

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