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Welcome to the European Federation of Interior Landscape Groups website - the association representing Interior Landscapers by promoting the use and benefits of Interior Plants.

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efig's visit to Crossrail Roof Gardens

on Friday, 16 June 2017. Posted in News

Prior to the efig AGM, a group of efig members met at the Crossrail Roof Garden, a real green oasis in the middle of Canary Wharf. We were met by Joe Cluskey of Blakedown Landscaping who was responsible for the installation of the garden.

Joe from Blakedown

Joe Cluskey of Blakedown Landscapes explaining

Joe told us that Blakedown Landscaping did not design the garden but was responsible for the installation. Joe worked as project manager and was on site most days for nine months. He also explained that beneath the gardens and pathways there was plenty of room for the roots of the various plants to grow.

Crossrail 1

The main pathways were made from grey concrete slabs - like planking - with secondary paths made from Zimbabwe charcoal tiles. Overhead the beehive shaped roof has several permanently open panels which means parts of the garden are permanently open to the elements and also the birds. Joe explained that at one point Crossrail had a hawk handler bring the bird down once every few weeks to scare the birds off. This mean they no longer have seagulls inside the gardens but the pigeons are less scared and still fly in.

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The pathways meander through the gardens splitting off in some places. They are dotted with contemporary wooden slatted benches and on a beautiful day like the day we visited, there were many visitors and workers from the surrounding Canary Wharf offices eating their lunches on the benches.

Crossrail 4


The planting

There was varied planting throughout the gardens including tree ferns, Alocasia, hosta, bamboos, ferns and bottle brush (Callistemon) plants.

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Crossrail 5


At the Eastern end and what felt like the start of the gardens, there was a large open space where there was a piano that anyone can play. We were beaten to it by a young man who was happy 'tinkling the ivories' for all who visited.

Crossrail performance space

At the far end, there was a large performance space which is hired out and where visitors can watch and listen.

An afternoon at the museum
After this, we went to the Museum of Docklands for the AGM meeting - no time to check out the museum exhibits. This kicked off with a short talk by Dean Bowie of GreenBlue Urban about taking trees out of the forests and using them in urban settings. This means considering the space and the condition of the soil they need to grow healthily.

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Interestingly, GreenBlue Urban was responsible for the installation of their StrataCell system below the planting and paths at the Crossrail Roof Gardens. You can see a time-lapse video of the installation of it here.


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