Wednesday, April 15, 2009 - 11:46

Eden Project gardeners are pushing the boundaries of horticulture by planting caper plants into a near-vertical cliff-face in the attraction’s Mediterranean Biome.

Skilled horticulturists Emma Ball and Stephanie Pipe planted the capers (Capparis spinosa) early this morning (April 15) in the rock above the Biome’s citrus grove. Despite Emma suffering occasional bouts of vertigo, the pair used a cherry picker to plant in the upper reaches of the cliff in the 30 metre tall Biome.

To keep the plants safe and growing fast they have wrapped the roots in moss and will be frequently watering the wall.

Capers are widely used in Mediterranean cooking and, as the plants enjoy bright sunlight, they grow well from rock faces. The perennial spiny bush produces big white and pink flowers and the edible bud is picked and pickled in salt and vinegar to produce the capers used in cooking.

This is the first time capers have been planted in the rock face at Eden.

Emma Ball said: “This is really exciting for us because it’s great to see the Biome from such a lofty perspective and we hope the capers will eventually cover the whole area.

“Eden horticulturists are working with homeless and disadvantaged people on a garden for the Chelsea Flower Show and vertical planting is a major feature of that so it’s great to be continuing this theme at Eden.”

While green fingered enthusiasts visit the freshly planted wall, colourful family fun is still on the menu over the Easter holidays at Eden.

Colour Explosion is the all-weather, paint-splattered celebration of spring flowers bursting into bloom. Activities include painting pictures using mops, sponge balls and hands and contributing to a giant collage.

Visitors can use egg-shaped chalks to draw murals on the paths around the Eden site and face-painting, temporary tattoos, Easter egg decorating and making bunting are also on offer.

Budding explorers can take in the beautiful spring sights at Eden on the Easter egg trail and those who have had their fill of chocolate can join the grow-your-own movement and plant seeds in weird and wonderful containers.

Colour Explosion runs until April 19. All activities are included in standard Eden admission apart from the Easter egg decorating and hire of painting overalls, which cost between £1 and £4. Visitors are welcome to bring their own overalls.