New details about and images of London's planned Garden Bridge have been released. As the renowned horticulturist and flora designer for the project Dan Pearson has previously explained to Gizmag, the bridge will be a green public space crossing the River Thames. That's if it comes to fruition …

The Garden Bridge concept was conceived back in 1998 by British actor Joanna Lumley, but only began being developed as a feasible project in 2013. It has received a great deal of varied criticism, including suggestions that it's too expensive, that it will block views of St. Paul's Cathedral and that it will be closed overnight. Such is the opposition to the Garden Bridge that it is currently the subject of a judicial review.

Nonetheless, the Garden Bridge Trust, which is overseeing the project, is pushing on with its planning and delivery. It argues that the bridge will be a unique public park and destination that will link cultural areas on the North and South Banks, create new quicker and safer pedestrian routes, and that it will showcase UK design, engineering and landscaping talent – amongst other things.

Assuming the project goes ahead, the bridge will link the South Bank of the Thames to Temple tube station and beyond into Covent Garden. The newly-released images show what five differently landscaped areas across 2,500 sq m (26,900 sq ft) of planting space will look like. There will be 270 trees; 2,000 shrubs, hedging plants and climbers; over 22,000 perennials, ferns and grasses; and 64,000 bulbs.

"Whatever the season, the planting will provide year-round color and interest with spring blossom and flowering bulbs, high summer flowers, autumn color and winter interest from evergreens, scented shrubs and bulbs," says Pearson. "An abundance of nectar-rich flower, berries and fruit will also create somewhere attractive to wildlife and the planting will also enhance and frame beautiful new views up and down the river."

In addition to featuring species that will thrive throughout the year, the Garden Bridge will take inspiration from London's horticultural history. An area adjacent to the South Bank will host species once common on Lambeth Marsh and in Central London, whilst the North Glade section will be a woodland inspired by the parks and gardens of old London

Elsewhere, a second woodland area, South Glade, will feature plants known for spring blossom and autumn fruit. The North Bank section will be home to the scented late winter and early spring flowering shrubs found in nearby Temple Gardens. The central span, or Scarp, section of the bridge will be a cliff-top landscape.

Judicial reviews aside, construction of the Garden Bridge is due to begin in early 2016 and it is expected to be opened in in 2018. It will be free to visit.

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