Ten thousand plants, grown to order at Shropshire-based Boningale Nurseries, have been used to create two new rooftop terraces at Birmingham’s prestigious £188.8 million library development. The sky-high green spaces will complement the striking design of the new library in Centenary Square, which opens to the public in September – more than three years after construction began.
Boningale, one of the UK’s largest nurseries and environmental horticultural specialists, won the contract from Frosts Landscape Construction Ltd to grow, supply and deliver the 150 plant varieties that make up the roof garden collections.
And because planting is an integral part of the eco-rating of the library, it means the varieties chosen have directly contributed towards the architects’ aim for the scheme to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.
Steven Horne, Frosts Landscapes’ Account Representative at Boningale Nurseries, which supplies the construction and horticultural industry with more than one million home-grown plants and shrubs every year from its Albrighton headquarters, said it had spent the past 12 months producing the “schedule of plants” to allow the contract to be completed to specification, on time and within budget.
The Dutch architects, Macanoo, specifically called for shade-tolerant, indigenous plants because the terraces are shaded by other buildings. “The architects wanted to create a ‘carpet’ effect with contrasting foliage, interesting movement and long flowering periods,” explained Steven. “After carefully examining the brief, we selected 150 suitable varieties and spent the past year growing all the plants to specification to ensure that the customer’s aspirations were fulfilled.”
Fruit, herbs and vegetables were selected to create “an allotment in the sky” on one roof, while the other is filled with varieties of indigenous woodland plants such as Liriope, Lamium, Tiarella, Geranium and Hosta to produce the colour and texture for the carpet effect.
The contract was delivered from Boningale’s 39-acre growing site in Albrighton to Birmingham city centre by the company’s dedicated fleet of 7.5 tonne delivery trucks, all of which are fitted with tail-lifts and operated by a team of fully trained plant handlers, who made sure all the plants arrived in top condition.
Aidan Lane, Commercial Director from Frosts Landscape Construction Ltd said “As part of our sustainability policy, Frosts always try to source stock locally so were delighted to partner with Boningale for this prestigious project. The benefits of contract growing on this scale were easy to see in the quality of plants delivered. We look forward to working with Boningale in the future.”
“Boningale are increasingly supplying these ‘high calibre’ and prestigious schemes throughout the UK,” added Frank Sanford, Boningale’s Sales Director. “It has been very exciting for everyone at Boningale to be involved in such a prestigious scheme on our doorstep and we now look forward to seeing the library officially open to the public.”