Guy’s Hospital Biodiversity Garden

Darryl Moore

New Hunt's House

Guy's Hospital

Great Maze Pond



A colourful garden on the entrance road to Guy's Hospital, made from recycled crushed concrete and sand, sourced from locally demolished buildings

Utilising ecological principles to match plants to the low-nutrient mounded rubblescapes, a series of drought tolerant plants have been used to create a robust evolving garden, brightening the approach to the hospital and providing a much needed plant-filled space on the entranceway to the hospital.

The plants are adapted to both the substrate mediums, and were planted as 9cm and plug sizes, to encourage root growth rather than foliage initially. This leads to longer lived and healthier plants in the long term. The plants have low resource input requirements and are intended to be suitable for the changing climate challenges that we face. The planting palette includes local wildflowers and introduced species from warmer and drier environments. Many species will seed into the aggregate mediums, creating a dynamic and changing landscape. All will be carefully stewarded with selective editing to ensure important balances are not lost within the community in order to maintain maximum diversity. All plants are intended to be useful for the maximal amount of insects as possible, and were selected for their properties to provide resources for invertebrates at various stages of their life cycles.
The different materials provide a large number of habitat opportunities for a wide range of insects and small mammals. The garden is part of an urban mosaic, linking to other green spaces and planting in the surrounding area, creating wildlife corridors allowing species to migrate between them.

Ongoing monitoring of soil fauna, including microbes, will provide information regarding their mutualistic relationships with plants and the effects on plant community composition over time.

The reuse of these materials, as part of a circular ecology, recognises their ongoing value and prevents them from going to landfill.

The coloured pieces of rubble, frame the mounds to indicate that they have been deliberately designed, and to draw attention to the garden from the footpath, as well as brightening up a dull and hard urban area. As a place-making strategy, the colours are also used in other projects in the area to create a continuity throughout it, indicating that the area is cared for and consequently a safer and more relaxed place, as well as providing indicators for wayfinding..

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