A Green Wall in Silicon Valley

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By Jaime Gillin
Bay Meadows, billed as a "progressive new urban village," is starting to take shape in San Mateo, south of San Francisco.

When completed, the sustainability-focused development will include three public parks designed by CMG Landscape Architecture, totaling 15 acres; a community garden; 1,171 residential units; and lots of retail and office space—all a stone's throw from the San Mateo Caltrain stop.

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Plants were selected for their ability to emulate healthy plant communities and promote the ecological health of the surrounding area.

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At 86 feet long, the vertical garden at Bay Meadow's Welcome Center is one of the largest in the Bay Area.

Though there's not much to see yet on-site, there is one appealing draw: a sales trailer designed by BCV Architects with a living wall by Habitat Horticulture, which opened to the public last month. The vertical garden is 86 feet long and planted to attract butterflies and pollinators, with edible lavender, coral bells (a favorite of hummingbirds), and native plants like wild strawberries and fragrant yerba buena.

Even after the sales trailer closes up shop, the green wall—which was designed to be moveable—will remain, incorporated into one of the permanent green spaces.

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