Local Henley artist, Clive Hemsley, launched Henley’s first “living wall” on Tuesday afternoon. The 30ft Living Wall is positioned on the side of his home, Longlands House, a Grade II listed building on Hart Street.
The herbs and plants within the living wall overlay a painting of Mr Hemsley’s black Labrador dog, Jenson. The planting background has a selection of flowering and non-flowering varieties, equally mixed across the entire surround. Some additional edible and flowering varieties provide scent and attraction to pollinators.
The Living Wall was the idea of Val Stoner, from Eco-Henley, a small pressure group working under the umbrella of Henley in Transition. Val invited Richard Francis, an Environmental Tuner from Hurst, to show a sample of a living wall to a Henley in Bloom committee meeting, as part of their vision to turn Henley green. The plants will ingest the pollution in Henley, which is said to be 40% above permitted levels.
Val Stoner said, “Clive took up the baton, saying he would take on the project to construct the 30ft living wall on the side of his house.”
Living plants naturally purify the air, and can fight carbon emissions. They provide a host of benefits to the environment, to people living and working in the area and to the buildings themselves. Artist Clive Hemsley is a former Henley in Bloom Community Champion. The underlying portrait of Jenson is his 851st painting in a twenty-year period. The green living wall was constructed by Treebox, one of the UK’s leading living wall designers and suppliers.
The Mayor, Councillor Kellie Hinton, and Chair of Henley in Bloom for over five years, was delighted to be able to attend the official opening of the Living Wall. She said, “This is so good for Henley. I love the fact that herbs have been incorporated into the stunning design. It really does appeal to all the senses. I hope this is the first of many such designs across the town.”
Clive Hemsley managed the entire process, and is thrilled with the results. He said, “Treebox have done an amazing job. They have matched the herbs and planting exactly to my painting of Jenson underneath. This is living art in the very heart of Henley.”