Wordless Wednesday – Danger: Heavy Plants Crossing!


Millbrook Roundabout in Southampton has recently been upgraded. As part of that project several 6m-high hydroponic ‘living walls’ have been installed, screening the support columns in an effort to improve air quality, trap particulates and improve the appearance of a concrete monster.


Plants (>11,000) have been selected to provide a range of habitats for wildlife, allowing good biodiversity. 17 different species have been used in the design and are expected to achieve 95% year round coverage.


In the planting, attention has been paid to context (the design is based on the local river, Itchen), colour (e.g. russet-toned heucheras), texture (through foliage shapes e.g. strappy acorus) and flowers (e.g. long flowering erigeron exploding into a blizzard of tiny daisies).


Species have been matched to aspect too. On this north facing wall you can see a heavier use of ferns and euonymus for instance.


Allusions have been made to the Via Verde highway pillars in Mexico City, which is somewhat optimistic, but this is impressive nevertheless. It is the first project of its kind on a UK major road network. Biotecture, the company responsible for the walls, give further details of their brief here.


Meanwhile, Millbrook roundabout is a major gateway to Southampton city centre and is certainly one of the busiest (~36,000 vehicles each day). All of which means that it is especially important to watch out for heavy plants crossing!!!

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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9 Responses to Wordless Wednesday – Danger: Heavy Plants Crossing!

  1. susurrus says:

    The planting looks really nice close up. I love to see green walls and to watch how they survive. Some don’t but the contractors seem to have given it their best shot. The sign does jar in the last, but I suppose it has to jar to do its job.

  2. shoreacres says:

    Absolutely hilarious — your addition, not the planting, which really deserves some applause. Green roofs are becoming more common here, but I’ve never seen an installation like this.

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Wow, impressive response for the greening of the concrete jungle. I love them!

    • Yes, me too! I’ve been making a mental note to stop and take a closer look each time we’ve used this roundabout. I ended up hopping over from an adjacent Drive-thru to take the photos.

  4. This, combined with more use of solar roofs and even in some places solar collectors on highways, can really make a difference in our environment. And these aren’t hard on the eyes either.

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