The Muse - native planting update

The Muse
The Muse

20 tonnes of soil has now been loaded on to the Muse, Justin Bere’s own self-build experimental home and an all-native planting scheme has been installed in good time to get settled in before the growing season. Justin says: “at last we got 20 tonnes of soil on the roofs of my house and we have completed an all-native planting scheme, including a native hawthorn thicket, a native hazel woodland with native honeysuckle and two native wild-flower meadows. Also forty native birch trees have been planted along the gravel entranceway. The selected plants are all species native to the UK, which means they are perfectly suited to support native insects and animals, creating a comprehensive, symbiotic, fully functioning ecology. The plants were all grown in the south east of England and sourced from English Woodlands(www.ewburrownursery.co.uk) and British Wildflower Plants (www.wildflowers.co.uk). I will be using water from the underground rainwater storage tank to settle the planting in during its first year and it is planned that the plants will not require watering after the first year. The creative concept and native planting design has been realized in collaboration with the renowned landscape architect Kim Wilkie (www.kimwilkie.com) and the green roof technical advice, together with the design and implementation of the native wild flower meadow was provided by the equally renowned Dusty Gedge of Living Roofswww.livingroofs.org & www.blackredstarts.org.uk who also advised on the special soil substrate for the whole project, which was supplied by Shire Minerals and sourced locally to London. Technical advice for the heavily insulated and immensely durable mastic asphalt warm roof construction was provided by Mike Smith of Permanite (www.permanite.com) The wild flower meadow includes sun-baked stag-beetle sandpits, bumble bee sleeping quarters and insect walls to add to the bird and bat boxes that I already built into the brick walls. With the help of a couple of ponds, I hope to create a beautiful wildlife oasis in the middle of islington!”

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