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Green sculpture set to attract urban wildlife

Marie-website-grabFrom the outset the green sculpture project has had its focus on being of benefit to the urban wildlife we get in King’s Cross. The project has been very lucky indeed to have garden designer Marie Clarke produce our wildlife garden for us on a completely pro-bono basis. She has also had to ensure the garden is sustainable and needs as little maintenance as possible.

We are lucky to be part of an important green corridor that includes the Regent’s Canal, the sides of the many railway tracks here, Camley Street Natural Park owned by the London Wildlife Trust and even the little local domestic gardens littered around – the most important in the immediate locality being the south end of Battlebridge Basin and a hidden delight, the gardens behind Wharfdale Road/Balfe Street/Northdown Street/The Cally.

Low maintenance is important to this garden for two reasons, the obvious one being that low maintenance gardens look and thrive better for longer. But there’s another equally important reason for wildlife gardens. Wildlife – particularly the birds and bats we hope to attract, don’t respond well to being disturbed. The ideal for us would be to get the plants in and then just leave them alone for a couple of years’ at a time, only pruning and twiddling at times of year when no nesting activity takes place.

Using Marie’s plant list for the green sculpture, we’ve started to list the wildlife connections her planting scheme has. We’ll add to this as we learn more, if you have information about the wildlife connections of any of the plants below do let us know.

Click on the images below to go to either the RHS page for that plant, or where we couldn’t find an RHS link, the Wikipedia page.

Our reference Plant Common name Local wildlife connections
14 Trachleospermum jasminoides Star jasmine Moths, bats, birds Star jasmine
12 Verbeena bonariensis Verbena Butterflies, bees  Verbena bonariensis
11 Stipa gigantea Golden oats  Golden-oats
10 Salvia officinalis Garden sage Bees, green tortoise beetle  Garden-sage
7 Geranium ‘Roseanne’ Cranesbill Butterflies, moths, bats  Cranesbill
6 Geranium ‘Psilostemum’ Armenian cranesbill Bees  Armenian cranesbill
16 Fascicularia bicolor Crimson Bromeliad  Crimson-Bromeliad
15 Chamaerops humilis Mediterranean Fan Palm  Mediterranean-Fan-Palm
9 Rosmarinus prostratus Creeping rosemary Bees  Creeping-rosemary
8 Lampranthus spectbabilis Purple ice plant Purple-ice-plant
5 Euphorbia mellifera Honey spurge Bees  Honey-spurge
4 Convulvulus cneorum Silverbush Birds, bees, butterflies, moths, bats  Silver-bush
3 Ceanothus prostrate variety Californian lilac Bees, hoverflies  Calfornian-lilac
2 Aloe striatula Coral Aloe  Coral-aloe
1 Agave americana Century plant  Century-plant

 Marie Clarke’s garden design for the King’s Cross green sculpture:

Planted sculpture