Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Living Living Wall

Living walls are quite the rage in the gardening world right now.  There are new products popping up regularly to help create mosaics of plants up walls both indoors and out, as well as repurposed items being used to fill spaces with greenery.  But one thing that I haven't seen a lot of recently, are living living walls.  Not planted by human hands, but growing spontaneously in the vertical.

This is a lovely natural living wall along the banks of the River Kelvin within the Glasgow Botanic Garden.  Snoutface and I often walk past it during our daily wanders and I have not tired of it yet.  The wall is built of blocks of sandstone like much of Glasgow's West End.  The stone itself is obscured by masses of mosses and ferns and accented by draping ivy.  However, you can still see the outlines of the building stones and that's one of the things I love about it.

I've walked past it repeatedly and thought to myself, "I really must take a picture of this wall, but the light just isn't right. It's in the shadows again."  This happened multiple times before it finally dawned on me that the reason it's always so wet and lush is that it's constantly in the shadows.  Um, duh.

It really is beautiful to see so much greenery in the dead of winter and the textures are amazing as well.  The stones are covered by a plant that looks almost like algae the way its leaves form little mats of green.  If one day we live somewhere in Glasgow with a shady stone wall, I'll do my best to recreate something like this.  Perhaps its because I spent so long in an arid Mediterranean climate, but it feels really decadent to be surrounded by such lushness.

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