The new venue for Futurescape, Excel London, was a fitting place to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the UK’s most popular landscape show. With more space, more exhibitors, and attendees thronging to the in-person event, it was, for most, a great success. The seminar sessions were fast and fun, with salient points being reinforced by professionals from across the industry, and a great atmosphere could be felt in the halls.

But what was the point? Why have an exhibition when most specifiers and installers in the landscape world are aware of the suppliers and solutions on offer? Why spend time at a hall in the East end of London when we can find everything online? It’s that personal edge – seeing, feeling, touching, handling, speaking with real people and actual products that most educates us as to the options available.

With COP26 so shortly over, all our minds are freshly concentrated on our environment, and how we are going to adapt to climate change and the vital importance of our outdoor space – whether private or public realm. The pandemic has taught many of us the need to engage with nature, and the value of interaction with others in safe spaces, and in many ways, it has changed humanity, probably forever.

Futurescape showcased many new and innovative ideas from shade sails to exterior lighting, from permeable paving to green roofs, from landscaping machinery to trees, but the GreenBlue Urban stand arguably displayed the widest range of new solutions in the halls. The all-new solar and wind-powered lighting column had pride of place, debuting here, giving new possibilities to designers as the first total off-grid street lighting solution. This innovative UK manufactured offering does away with the usual issues of running power to remote corners of sites, and the risks associated with construction machinery and damage to cables yet offers a 100% guaranteed light output, even in winter conditions.

Also on show was the GreenBlue Urban range of street furniture. Marketed under the streetpark.co.uk banner, these new designs give the designer a wide choice of aesthetically pleasing and robust elements for long-lasting public realm installations. Manufactured in the EU to high standards, with all timber coming from FSC sources, anyone who chooses from this range will be well pleased.

The GreenBlue Urban stainless steel wall climbing wire systems were also displayed for the first time. At GreenBlue Urban we believe that whilst trees are the best addition to our urban spaces, they are not always appropriate in our constrained urban spaces. However, green infrastructure is still needed, and there are many facades and walls that could be greened up with the use of climbing plants, and the GreenBlue Urban wire system is ideal for these locations. With a long lifespan and specially designed structural integrity, there is no reason why these attractive solutions should not outlive the buildings that they are attached to. With different designs to suit all situations, GreenBlue Urban are confident that we can help you find a solution to any challenge that you may have with vertical urban greening.

Finally, as ever, the core of the GreenBlue Urban business is the urban tree: showing the Bankside Guard seat – a circular bench that attaches to the GreenBlue Urban tree guard range. This clever solution can be retrofitted to any of the GreenBlue Urban vertical steel tree guards, further enhancing the practicality of these street furniture elements. Cost and space-efficient, GreenBlue Urban anticipate huge interest in this product, both in new installations and also in retrofit situations in existing public realm areas.

Many thanks to all those who visited the stand, and to any that missed it, please give us a call about any projects that you may have.