First plants announced for Garden Bridge

Willows, wild pears, hawthorn and briar roses will be among the species planted on London's planned Garden Bridge.

Artist's impression of a view from the Garden Bridge. Image: Supplied by Garden Bridge Trust
Artist's impression of a view from the Garden Bridge. Image: Supplied by Garden Bridge Trust

Promoters say every plant in the design has been chosen to foster biodiversity. The bridge will offer a year-round range of foods and pollination sources, acting as a corridor for wildlife to move between the green spaces on either bank of the Thames.

Landscape designer Dan Pearson has been working on the project, along with Arup's ecological experts and landscape contractor Willerby.

Pearson said: "Whatever the season, the planting will provide year round colour and interest with spring blossom and flowering bulbs, high summer flowers, autumn colour and winter interest from evergreens, scented shrubs and bulbs.

"An abundance of nectar-rich flower, berries and fruit will also create somewhere attractive to wildlife and the planting will also enhance and frame beautiful new views up and down the river."

Natural dipping pools, hibernaculas and winter perennial habitat will also help attract faunal biodiversity all year round. Hibernaculas are homes for many invertebrates or some larger species to hibernate overwinter often formed from dead wood and rocks, or just to use as part of their lifecycle.

While a full planting list is yet to be released, it will include:

· Pines and scented Mediterranean herbs
· Willows to provide winter colour and early spring catkins for pollinators
· Glastonbury Thorn, a twice-flowering hawthorn as well as bulbs and perennial fruiting plants, which will attract bees and other pollinators
· Woodland featuring native and ornamental plants that have been selected for spring blossom and autumn fruit
· Wild pears planted throughout to provide spring blossom and fruit for birds
· Bird baths and dipping pools
· Tapestry hedges containing a mix of evergreens, with berrying hawthorn and native sweet briar roses
· Perennials underplanted with wild strawberries and intermingled with ornamental grasses, snowdrops and native wild daffodils for spring interest
· Silvery shrubby willows to provide a contrast to the evergreens, and catkins in late winter which provide early forage for bees
· Laurel, figs, vines, and roses, along with a selection of scented late winter and early spring flowering shrubs

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