Friday, November 18, 2011

Living Walls, the work of Bob Chabot at the Jacksonville Zoo

Jacksonville, though certainly not a 'green' city, has a core group of individuals who want to see plants fill a concrete and asphalt void.

Bob Chabot who serves as Director of Horticulture and Facilities for the Jacksonville Zoo, as well as President of Greenscape of Jacksonville and Vice-President for the Association of Zoological Horticulture and I took a tour of his zoo gardens yesterday, focusing on several upcoming projects we are both involved in, the Lasalle Street native plant bioswale and living walls for the USGBC's North Florida Resource Center in downtown Jacksonville.

Bob Chabot & very healthy, flourishing lemongrass, Cymbopogon flexuosus
Of course, it helps to have all the mammal compost you ever need to grow great plants, however the design, combination and selection of native plants, Florida Friendly Plants and plants from around the world make the Jacksonville Zoo a virtual ethnobotanical and horticultural library.

Living Walls, Jacksonville Zoo,  Confederate Jasmine, Trachelosperum jasminoides
Living Walls, Jacksonville Zoo, Cross vine, Bignonia capreolata
Living Walls, Jacksonville Zoo, Cross vine, Bignonia capreolata
Bignonia and Trachelosperum offer several great advantages for vertical urban greenscapes.  They are both evergreen, non-invasive, provide habitat for wildlife, offer a stunning array of scents and visuality and importantly are drought tolerant.

We'll post updates on the various projects as they 'grow'.  In the meanwhile, if ever in Jacksonville be sure to take the time and tour the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.