Post earthquakes, central Christchurch is slowly being rebuilt. Amongst the demolitions, building sites, cranes, road works, gravel sections and shipping containers, some very creative projects are underway.
One of these is a wall of living plants, native to Canterbury, at the corner of Cashel and High Streets. The planting has changed (yet another) ordinary wire fence into a pleasant space – worth a visit in its own right.
The original plant list was chosen to include species that naturally grow on rocky outcrops on Banks Peninsula, an area with some unique and hardy species. The final plantings incorporate a somewhat wider range of native plants that grow in Canterbury.
The containers that hold the plants onto the wire fence were 3D-printed by FabLab – with some help, mainly from schools. These are made of PLA plastic, which is corn-based and ultimately biodegradable.
The wall is next to a native garden of ground cover plants, rocks, shrubs, flax and tree ferns. There are also planter boxes with native species, and some seats.
The urban living wall was built, and is maintained, by the Department of Conservation and FabLab. Several other organisations and individuals are also involved – for more detail check out the wall’s web site, here.
There is a project on NatureWatch where anyone can record what they see at this site. It would be great to add animals to the list of observations. One aim of the urban living wall is to provide habitat for wildlife in the city – so if you manage to visit the site, see what you can find!