London's traditional squares offer undeniably pretty pockets of green in the city's classiest neighbourhoods. But although their classic combination of manicured lawns and colourful displays of bedding plants might be easy on the eye, it's not the best for biodiversity, and it often relies on pesticides, fertilisers, and irrigation to keep it looking picture perfect. The new designs for a revamped Grosvenor Square in Mayfair look to change that.
Property giant Grosvenor is aiming to turn the square into a first-of-its-kind biodiversity haven, featuring an impressive 500 percent increase in the number of plant species, plus 26 new trees. The aim is to fill the square with blooming beautiful wildflower lawns, and hedges made up of native flowering and fruiting plants that encourage insect life – including those all-important bees. The plans are also carbon neutral, and include waterfall canopies, wetlands and channels that store rainwater for use in watering the gardens.
So far, so 21st century. But the plans also hark back to the gardens' history by restoring their original oval shape from the 1720s, with a curved central meadow surrounded by formal shaped beds. Shady walks with woodland-style planting will offer respite from the summer sun, and there are also play areas and an educational centre on offer.
The plans were submitted to the council on December 4, and will be considered in due course. If you want to have your say on this eco-revamp of a London landmark, then you can view the designs and submit comments on Grosvenor Square's website.