How Garden Bridge could look in depths of winter

The Garden Bridge Trust has released a new image from Arup of how the bridge could look in winter, along with more details of the planting scheme.

Artist's impression of the Garden Bridge in winter. Image: Arup
Artist's impression of the Garden Bridge in winter. Image: Arup

Plants will include a mix of British and north European native species in combination with cultivated garden plants from all over the world.

Multi-stem trees and shrubs have been chosen for the windy conditions due to their lower centre of gravity. The white papery trunks of birch and stems of dramatic purple-stemmed willows will be illuminated in the winter sun, while winter-flowering Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) will provide a vibrant yellow display in January and February and Viburnum farreri 'Candidissiumum' will bear perfumed flowers from November.

There will be plenty of fruit and berrying plants for the birds including crab apples (Malus 'Evereste' & 'Red Jewel'), with their amber and red fruits on display during the winter months.

Hedges will contain a large proportion of evergreens providing a constant feature as the rest of the garden evolves through the seasons. They also provide winter cover for birds and other vertebrates allowing pollinators to move through the garden.

The perennial layer will provide maximum seasonal interest, with the skeletal forms of grasses and the sculptural perennial seed heads providing shelter for insects and other wildlife.

Winter flowering cyclamen, irises, hellebores and snowdrops will provide colour at ground level, followed by early spring flowering bulbs. By the time these are flowering, the winter buds of the magnolias will be swollen and heralding spring.

The bridge, linking the South Bank of the Thames to Temple Station, is due to open in 2018, with planting to commence in 2017, according to the trust.

The planting team includes landscape designer Dan Pearson and landscape contractor Willerby Landscapes.

Pearson said: "Winter can be a beautiful time and we aim to make a stroll on the Garden Bridge a wonderful experience. The idea behind creating this garden is to create a space that will be interesting every day of the year.

"We hope to inspire people of all ages to take an interest in horticulture. Winter is a time for nourishment and renewal in British gardens and we have balanced this concept with plants that will bring vibrant colour and life to the garden. I look forward to seeing the plans come to fruition."

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