In 2011, whilst creating bespoke wildflower mixes for the 2012 Olympic site, we were asked to create a special wildflower mix suitable for tree lined, shaded areas. 4 years on and the shady meadows in the East Village are healthy and colourful with a good mix of species and biodiversity.
Following the Olympics, we knew that the creation of a shade tolerant wildflower mix would be an important development for our landscaping clients. Wildflower Turf conducted research with Hillier Arboretum, trialling a number of different mixes within their tree nurseries, in order to provide a shade tolerant Wildflower Turf as a stock product. To look at the species mix within the Turf follow the link: Shade Tolerant Wildflower Turf
It isn’t just the lack of light that causes problems in tree lined areas, other considerations for shaded areas include:
- Canopy lifting before laying the turf. This will increase the light available to the plants and can be a healthy option for the trees.
- Leaving an area clear around the base of isolated trees or clumps of trees is sensible and allows for mulching which also improves the growing conditions of the trees and in an orchard, gives easy access for picking fruit!
- Having a clear area at the base of the trees also makes the annual wildflower maintenance cut much easier and helps to protect the bark at the base of the tree against overzealous strimming!
- Mature trees not only provide shade, they will also have an impact on the surrounding soil conditions by removing high levels of nutrients as well as moisture. Poor soil isn’t a problem for wildflowers but moisture levels can be, particularly when the meadow is first establishing.
- Leaf litter and fruit can also be problematic in the autumn and must be cleared to avoid impact on the health of the wildflowers.
Our trials have led to the selection of the best species mix for optimum colour, biodiversity and longevity. Essential to the success of our Shade Tolerant products was the establishment of an optimum management regime for wildflowers in shaded areas to ensure that both the wildflowers and trees are given the best chance of success.
These management techniques are discussed during our Accreditation Training Days for landscapers and are integral to the success of shaded wildflower meadows.
Our Shade Tolerant Wildflower Mix is available as both a Wildflower Turf® and Wildflower Earth™. The turf can be laid at any time throughout the year other than in frost and snow. Wildflower Earth™ is best suited to Spring or Autumn installations. Continued research and development has enabled us to develop a number of bulb mixes that will complement the area with early season colour, both in shaded and open areas. These bulbs are generally installed in the autumn, but this is very easy to do at the time of laying the turf. Whilst this wildflower turf mix has been specifically designed to be installed around high shaded areas, boosting it with plugs can improve species diversity even further and this was implemented in certain areas of the Athletes Village. The turf has been developed by the company using its unique ‘soil-less’ system that is more drought tolerant than other more conventional methods. The turf has a wider selection of flowers, 41 different species, with a minimum of 75% wildflowers.
To produce this environmentally beneficial product, every effort is made to source sustainable ingredients, for example composted green waste and organic nutrients, as well as carefully monitoring all inputs such as electricity and water. The turf naturally produces a bio-diverse habitat supporting birds, mammals, bees, butterflies and other invertebrate species.
Shade Tolerant Wildflower Turf and Shade Tolerant Wildflower Earth are stock products and deliverable to site with 48 hour turnaround. Call our sales team for further information. To obtain a quote you will need the approximate area you require in m² and the postcode for delivery.
Call us on 01256 771222.