By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
10:45 AM EDT, August 28, 2013
The Rubens at the Palace hotel recently unveiled one of the largest "living walls" in London, a 3,770-square-foot vertical garden on the side of its building that features buttercups, strawberries, lavender and even geraniums.
The idea is to create a little ecosystem with flowers blooming year-round and one designed to draw bees, butterflies and birds to the urban spot sure to become a landmark. The vertical garden is packed with 16 tons of soil and 10,000 ferns and plants.
"We take the issue of sustainable tourism very seriously, and this wall will minimize the hotel’s impact on the environment but also improve the air quality and aesthetic in this part of London," the hotel's website says. The wall will be irrigated by rainwater caught in rooftop tanks.
London has been promoting living roofs and walls throughout the city to help mitigate flooding by absorbing rain and improve the appearance of buildings.
Along with the hotels' wall comes some indoor inspiration too. For starters, visitors can choose the Living Wall Afternoon Tea at the Rubens that includes wild strawberry cheesecake, lavender cupcake, violet ganache and rose petal macaroon, among other items. The cost is $47 per person.
Or they can try new cocktails (at $18 each) such as the English Garden, which is a mix of Bloom gin, elderflower, ginger ale, basil, strawberries and lemon.
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