During the filming of the Rooftop Rainforest we twice visit the Eden Project. The first was a cold wet February day. This was the day I was suspended high up above the tropical biome in a helium balloon!
Now of course there a couple of things that I should get straight here. I do do rooftops but that doesn’t mean I am not immune to the fear of heights. In fact I have learnt to overcome this fear. But everyone presumes that because you spend all the time up on roofs you can be suspend from anything, anywhere and at any height. The problem with the helium balloon was the disorientation and lack of ‘control’. I really did not enjoy the experience one bit. I am quite happy down on terra firma thank-you.
The other thing is I am not a gardener! I would never have the time or the inclination. But once you get involved in plants and stuff it seems you automatically gain the sobriquet rooftop gardener. I am a nature conservationist first and for most and birdwatcher the rest of the time!!
The burnt earth of the rainforest is one of a number of displays throughout Eden that highlights the destruction of the rainforest – which is why I embark on this madcap journey of installing a tropical rain forest on a roof in London. The 70 days theme that runs throughout the programme highlights that at the current rate of destruction the tropical rainforests of the world will have vanished within seventy years. And with it not only the vast diversity of fauna and flora but also a habitat that is so vital for the sustainability of the whole planet.
Throughout the tropical biome there are some amazing plants from trees to shrubs to bromeliads to orchids. These palms were beautiful. Rainforest Robin berated me when I called them trees -they are grasses. Well it is good to learn something and apparently palms monocots are ore closely related to grasses than trees. Still to me they are trees whatever the expert tells me.
This yellow flower clambers over the concrete walls at the back of the tropical biome. I know that they are native to the Canary Islands as I saw several examples on my recent visit to the Island over the new year. I did a load of posts on Lanzarote so if you interested in birds and flowers just use the search button on the site.
Of course I had a profession interest in the visit to Eden. they have a series of green roofs. It was good to see them on both occasions. You can read more about the green roofs at livingroofs.org and see a series of pictures on this site. I am also looking forward to returning to Eden on 8th April to do a seminar on Green roof Construction for Cornwall Green Build. Hopefully the main green roof will have changed a little in the three weeks since I was last there.