Making an Urban Scene Green

Last Spring, a park was created in London for the first time in one hundred years.

3,850m² of a mixture of Wildflower Landscape Turf and Shade Tolerant Turf was taken to Greenwich Peninsula, to be installed by Gavin Jones. Alys Fowler teamed up with Thomas Hoblyn (clients: Knight Dragon), to create a biodiverse setting in an urban area. Not only did they use Wildflower Turf to create serene meadows on the banks, they installed boxes for bee keeping, apple trees and wild herbs. This project is a prime example of a state-of-the-art urban area introducing a more environmentally-friendly atmosphere to welcome all kinds of nature for the public to engage with.

The area was challenging, due to not only having high foot-traffic, but also containing contaminated soil and steep mounds, making installation on the banks complex. In this situation, the easiest option would have been to install lawn turf, however, Alys was determined to introduce biodiversity into the project, so wildflowers were the chosen solution.

The wildflowers flourished magnificently, despite the area having heavy public use at the opening event shortly after installation. We visited the site a year on to find the wildflowers still thriving. The contrast between the prominent architectural framework against the sculpted green mounds and wildflower banks creates the most phenomenal setting.

Greenwich Peninsula in 2015

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Greenwich Peninsula in 2016

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The Queen of Herbs Returns to RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Modern-Apothecary-Garden-2Jekka McVicar, highly acclaimed organic gardening expert, is appearing once again at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week with a Main Avenue Show Garden featuring Wildflower Turf. The unique Show Garden, which will be relocated to St John’s Hospice at the end of the show, was created with an aim to inspire today’s visitor and to ensure that the history, culinary and medicinal usage of herbs are not lost for future generations. Not only is the garden an excellent resource for plant identification but also a gastronomic delight for anyone interested in good food, as it displays the largest collection of culinary herbs in the UK.

stjohn_1-large_trans++eo_i_u9APj8RuoebjoAHt0k9u7HhRJvuo-ZLenGRumA“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”

50m² of our Wildflower Shade Tolerant Turf has been used for Jekka’s tranquil project, to reinforce one of the main purposes of the project, which is to create a place of quiet reflection. The vibrancy and serenity of the wildflowers will perfectly match the purpose of Jekka’s creation. The garden will seek to highlight the important relationship between medicine and nature while providing rehabilitation to the senses.

A big congratulations to Jekka for winning Silver-Gilt and also to Peter Clay from Crocus, who once again has sourced such beautiful plants for this award-winning garden.

If you’re at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this week, don’t miss out on this inspiring Show Garden, ‘A Modern Apothecary’ designed by Jekka McVicar.

Jekka McVicar“Plants can survive without us but we and this planet cannot survive without plants.”

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Creating a Buzz at Kew this Summer

Wolfgang Buttress Render by Day SM  The journey of the British bee will be brought to life this summer at Kew Gardens when the award winning Hive installation from the 2015 Milan Expo, is relocated to the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Hive was the centrepiece of the UK Pavilion at last year’s global event in Milan and stood as a visual symbol of the pollinators’ role in feeding humanity and the challenges facing bees today. It will fulfil a similar role at Kew, hoping to show visitors how they can make a difference to the life of bees with a multi-sensory experience, including architecture, science, music and wildflower landscapes.

Visitors will be drawn into The Hive via a lush and vibrant wildflower meadow that Wildflower Turf Ltd are delighted to be growing for Kew Gardens. Tony Kirkham, Head of Arboretum and Horticultural Services at Kew, has been making regular visits to Wildflower Turf Ltd to discuss the different types of wildflower products to be used and check on their progress. A mix of Landscape Turf and Border Turf will be used within the surrounding garden with a mix of bright annuals and native perennial wildflowers. This area is likely to be under planted with summer flowering bulbs for extra impact.

Wolfgang Butress Render - Kew Gardens By Night SM

The story of pollination will continue to come alive for visitors throughout Kew, from seeing the seasonal array of sumptuous fruit and veg in Kew’s Kitchen Garden, to basking in the British summer on a Pollination Trail across the gardens. Individual beehives, housing honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bees will take up home in the Gardens, enabling visitors to understand the inner workings of a hive, while the summer holidays will be filled with hands on activities for all ages. Thousands of flickering LED lights will bring the 17 metre high structure to life, reflecting bee activity within the hive and making it a wonderful place to visit at dusk with a honey infused cocktail in hand.

James Hewetson-Brown, Managing Director at Wildflower Turf Ltd says “We are delighted to have been asked to grow the meadow to surround this magnificent structure by Wolfgang Buttress – it really will be a sight to behold this summer for wildflower and bee enthusiasts. More importantly, it offers the chance for visitors to reconnect with nature and understand in detail why looking after our pollinators is so important and hopefully encourage even more people to consider bees when designing and planting gardens and amenity landscapes. It is a great honour to be working with Kew Gardens on such a prestigious project.”

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The Hive’s official opening date to the public is Saturday 18th June. You can book your tickets in advance at the Kew Garden Visit booking site.IMG_3328 Resized & Edited

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Changing Public Perception with Wildflowers

A CASE STUDY – TRANSFORMING A NEGLECTED AREA

The Borough of Kings Lyn and West Norfolk wanted to transform an area that had been neglected over the years and subsequently blighted with anti-social behaviour. They wanted to find a solution to this overgrown site to encourage the local residents back into the adjoining park and change public perception of this area that had developed a bad reputation amongst the wider community.

Kettlewell Lane 5

After compulsory purchasing the land, the project clean-up and clearance was managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, due to otters, water vole and many other species that lived within the area. It was decided that by introducing a high impact wildflower display, the creation of a pictorial meadow would positively change the way people feel about the area. The council went about researching the best way to establish wildflowers to create quick but long lasting results.

Kettlewell Lane 1 Kettlewell Lane 2 Kettlewell Lane 3 Kettlewell Lane 4

THE WORK

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust set up volunteer days and carefully cleared the very overgrown area. After clearance the site was treated with an application of glyphosate and any further material raked off the surface a couple of weeks later. No further ground preparation was required as the council had decided to use Wildflower Earth®, a pre-seeded growing medium that is simply spread over the sprayed off area without the need for rotovation. Within the Wildflower Earth® was a mix of high impact annuals, (to ensure a strong show of colour in the first year) and perennial wildflowers.

THE RESULTS

The results are clear to see from a visual perspective but benefits go far beyond aesthetics. The Borough Council reported a very positive change in the public’s reaction to the area. Whilst the land has been tidied up, it still provides a beneficial habitat for many different forms of wildlife, as well as being a magnet for pollinators. The meadow then required just one maintenance cut at the end of the flowering season, allowing the area to green-up and over winter as the perennials take over the following year.

Kings Lyn 2

KEY FACTS ABOUT WILDFLOWER EARTH IN AMENITY AREAS

This project is a classic example of the way wildflowers can engage and enthuse people. In a community area, involving a volunteer group can win hearts and minds and give a sense of ownership with a far greater likelihood of long term success for the meadow. It is acceptable that plants take time to flower, but it mustn’t take too long and the establishment phase must work first time. If not, enthusiasm quickly wains and an opportunity is lost. In this case using a mix of annuals and perennials in a pre-seeded growing medium (Wildflower Earth®) was the perfect solution. Wildflower Earth® provides an accurate seed rate in a growing medium blended to provide exceptional levels of seed and establishment. The results are considerably better than conventional methods of seeding flowers. Annuals offer a reliable first season flush of vibrant colour as the perennials establish to create a longer term display in years to come. The installation of meadows to public green spaces also results in lower man hour input and subsequent long term benefits to maintenance budgets.

This is just a small insight into how the pioneering products of Wildflower Turf Ltd can transform public spaces and are rapidly becoming a multi-faceted solution to amenity landscapes. This wonderful case study from Kings Lyn and West Norfolk Borough Council typifies many of the brilliant projects that we are working on up and down the country with local authorities and other guardians of our parks and green spaces.

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Open Days at Wildflower Turf in aid of The Greenfingers Charity

This summer we will be holding two open days in July where you are warmly invited to come and visit the Wildflower Turf farm. Our open days have always been popular for wildflower enthusiasts and  particularly useful for those that are creating wildflower areas as part of their work, be it garden design, landscaping, maintenance of parks and green spaces or even the development of wildflower roofs. Open Day 2 Wildflower Turf Ltd are the UK’s leading dedicated wildflower specialist and have pioneered products that provide instant, guaranteed meadows. Since our involvement in the 2012 Olympics and other high profile landscapes and gardens including the winning RHS Chelsea show garden with Dan Pearson last year, public interest in wildflower meadows is at an all time high. Our open day helps debunk the myths surrounding wildflower meadow creation and will help inform you of the possibilities and perhaps inspire you to create wildflower areas.

Open Day

We have set aside two dates in July. Each morning will comprise of very similar content but we have decided to try and add information and case studies that are particularly relevant to the two main sectors that we work with.

  • 1st JULY – Wildflowers in Public Spaces – Public Sector Organisations and Landscape Architects
  • 7th JULY – Creating Wildflower Spaces in Domestic Gardens – Garden Designers and Landscapers

The morning starts at 9:30am and will end at about 1pm, comprising of an introduction to wildflowers and their role in landscapes, talking through the design and specification process, site preparation, installation and maintenance requirements including mowing regimes. There will then be specific case studies to illustrate how wildflowers have been used in certain settings particularly relevant to your work.

There will be a closer look at our Wildflower Earth product that is revolutionizing wildflower installments, particularly for larger projects and public spaces. A tour of the turf beds and various trial sites  is a real treat in summer when the wildflowers are at their very best. There is so much to see to demonstrate our products in different situations, from roofs to embankments, shady areas to large scale meadows and all followed by a Q and A session with tea and cake.

Open Day_GrasslandTrust_May12 016 Garden Designers Guild visit 8.6.09 (1)

Whilst the open day is free it is really important to register your interest, we assume it will be popular. We also will need to know how many cakes to bake!! This year we are delighted to be supporting the Greenfingers Charity.

Greenfingers is  dedicated to supporting the children with their families, who use hospices around the UK, by creating inspiring gardens for them to relax in and enjoy. The charity is dedicated to creating beautiful, well-designed outdoor spaces for their visitors, whether through play and fun, or therapeutic rest and relaxation.  To date Greenfingers has created 49 inspiring gardens and outdoor spaces in hospices around the country, and has a further waiting list of hospices that want to create similar projectsAfter the open morning, if you have enjoyed your visit we will be asking you to make a voluntary donation or even sign up to help on a garden project in a hospice near you.

8? strawberry sponge cakeReserve your place by calling Sandrine on 01256 771222, quoting the date that you would like to attend with your contact details so that we can send you additional information.

We look forward to welcoming you in July.

PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTONwww.stphotos.co.uk07778 334771

 

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10 Reasons To Create A Wildflower Meadow

Are you considering a wild area in your garden, do you love the idea of being submerged in wildflowers this summer. If a wildflower meadow is a possible garden project for 2016, let Wildflower Turf convince you why it should be on top of your list.

1. Species biodiversity. The wonderful thing about a wildflower meadow is that it is an ever changing picture with new species to spot each week through the Spring and Summer. Our landscape turf has 34 different species of native wildflowers and it is great to get to know them all as they appear through the spring and summer months.

marlborough 3 26th may

2. A wildlife haven. From the tiniest flying insects to colourful butterflies and moths, from larks and finches to barn owls and red kites your meadow will become home to a major food source for a wide range of wildlife. Pollinators such as wild bumble bees, moths, butterflies, wasps, beetles, hoverflies as well as honey bees have faced serious difficulty over the last 100 years with habitat loss, pesticides and the depletion of nectar sources. Without them, our £210bn per year food industry would be in serious difficulty, as well as our gardens and countryside looking far less beautiful.  By adding an area of wildflower into your garden you are providing a rich and essential food source for pollinators and have the reward of seeing pretty winged insects come into your garden.  

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3. Garden Design Opportunities. Whether you live in a smaller urban garden or rambling rural retreat a wildflower area provides all sorts of design opportunities. The juxtaposition of sharp paved or mown lines with the wispy nature of the wildflower is perfect in town gardens and roofs. Whilst in rural areas a meadow can be a linking tool from kept borders to fields, or in areas of a garden where other species might find it more difficult to grow, being drought tolerant and requiring low nutrients, a wildflower meadow will survive on the most barren of land. Let you imagination run wild.

Meadow&Seat low res

4. Colour. If colour is your thing then annuals and non-native wildflowers are likely to excite you. With a fantastic array of bold vibrant colour, our Border Turf will be just up your street. You can expect a wildflower rainbow from April to September.

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5. Low Maintenance – If you are having trouble with an existing area of a garden, an area to big to manage, an area too nutrient starved to grow much, or an area infested with weeds, then a wildflower meadow could solve your problems. Apart from the initial preparation of the soil, which means ridding it from weeds and creating a light tilth, there is little more that will be needed over the year. The turf is very quick to establish, requires no further input in the way of fertiliser, if laid in the summer it might require a small amount of watering in but it is particularly drought tolerant and the dense root bed of the Wildflower Turf also acts as weed prevention, virtually impossible for weeds to penetrate through.

Are you spending hours in the summer mowing lawns, fed up of walking up and down in straight lines? Did you know that a wildflower meadow only requires one mow a year, normally in the Autumn time, clearing all of the arisings so as not to allow rotting material to re-nutrify the soil.

6. Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas emissions. Wildflower areas in urban environments have been found to offer the most optimum green structure for pollution removal. Different leaf forms provide a more complex surface so capturing a wider range of pollutant types. They have the potential for a net removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Reduced mowing, fertizlisation, pesticide and herbicide treatments of wildflower areas will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air and water pollution associated with these practices.

7. Quick, Guaranteed Results with Wildflower Turf. If you want quick results and be able to sit back and enjoy a low maintenance, wildlife haven this year then Wildflower Turf can guarantee you a meadow very quickly. The bare root bed of the turf establishes incredibly quickly onto prepared soil and if you were to lay wildflower turf in March or April you would certainly be  sat in a glorious meadow by May.The images below show a turf installation in late April with results by the end of July.

Photo 24-03-2015, 09 37 07 Photo 02-07-2015, 07 17 54

8. Cost. The management of wild flower areas is estimated to be half the cost of a non-wild flower managed alternative. Being drought tolerant and low nutrient loving – wildflowers require very little in the way of inputs such as irrigation and fertiliser. The greatly reduced requirement for mowing means there is saving in time but also petrol required for your mower. And finally, once you have created a meadow, there is no requirement for replanting, it is truly a sustainable landscape that can be in existence for as long as it is wanted.

9. Happy Customers for years to come – a long term landscape solution. Whether you are developing a wildflower area yourself or creating a meadow for a client, then you will be safe in the knowledge that Wildflower Turf is a solution that works. It can be laid at any time of the year except when there is ground frost,  it is really quick to establish and will give you immediate green cover on bare soil. It is a natural weed suppressant and will require little input from you over the years. We first laid Wildflower Turf around an irrigation lake over 10 years ago. The pictures below shows how it looked after 6 weeks of laying. The children in the picture were then 6 and 4. They are now 18 and 16, less keen to be in the 2015 picture, but it shows you what incredible longevity a wildflower meadow has, with minimal input and maximum biodiversity, wildlife and feel good factors.

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Lake after 10 years

10. Tranquility, peace and quiet and sense of mental well-being. There is nothing like sitting among the wildflowers, submerged in their beauty. We now know for sure that there are huge benefits to being within beautiful green spaces, providing long term benefits to mental health.

Angus Thompson Design East Riding (2)

If you need any more persuasion, why not seek out your local wildflower expert. We have over 200 Accredited Wildflower Installers throughout the country. They are listed on our Installer Pages and are fully trained in the preparation, installation and maintenance of our full range of products. Using our postcode search tool you can find a selection of installers that are close by.

Make it the year of wildflower meadows and in so doing, give one of the biggest charitable donations you could possibly make to nature and the natural environment.

 

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Shade Tolerant Wildflower Turf – A wildflower solution for shady areas

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.

Shade Tolerant Wildflower Turf install Athletes VillageShade tolerant Wildflower Turf AV 3 yr after install (4)

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

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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.

P 21 Shade Tolerant

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.

Wildflower Turf - Shade Tolerant Turf - Sustainable Lifestyles

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.

 

 

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Creating Show Gardens and Film Sets using Wildflower Turf

The RHS Shows throughout the summer months are the font of inspiration for many of us and as we oooh and ahh at the amazing designs and the seamless planting on display it is difficult to imagine the work and the sleepless nights that go into creating perfection on what is usually a very small plot.

As naturalistic design, gardens for wildlife and low maintenance gardens are still very much de rigour,  we continue to help garden designers bring their plans to life by offering a solution, that even though it may have only been planted a couple of days earlier, can look like a scheme that has been in situ for years.

At Wildflower Turf we are well known for providing a solution for show gardens and film sets, that can immediately look like an established meadow. This blog aims to help you, the designer or contractor, to specify and install our turf to successfully create the look that has been envisaged in the design.

TYPES OF SHOW TURF

We have had requests for all sorts of show turf from our classic perennial landscape turf to muddy grass to adorn cat walks inspired by festival chic. We try and be as accommodating as possible but the reality is, it’s all about timing. If you want something grown specifically, our bespoke mixes require a minimum order of 400m² and if required before June, growing of the turf will need to have started in the previous Autumn.

If your order is much smaller and likely to be a mix that is within our existing product range then there is much more flexibility. Every year we designate a number of beds to show turf. This means that it is left to grow on, with a careful eye from us to ensure it looks its very best and provide an instant meadow look. This is generally good news for shows from June onwards but if you are at RHS Chelsea in May you may risk a wet or cold spring not having provided you with adequate growth. Having said that, Dan Pearson’s Gold Medal winning garden used turf straight from our beds in May last year and provided him with just the right amount of colour and height. If you require show turf after the end of July, again we would advise you to grow immature turf on in a polytunnel as the turf on the beds will be at the end of its natural flowering season.

GROW IT ON YOURSELF

When your show is earlier in the year, our normal advice to the contractor would be to take the turf rolled, at least a month in advance in order to grow it on in a polytunnel. With a small amount of heat and water you will have about 30-40cms of growth within 4 weeks. Using heat pads underneath the turf will give it an even bigger boost. By taking the turf rolled from us, delivery costs are kept low.

As an example, Sparshalt College took turf from our turf beds on April 21st last year.

Show Turf Bed - April

The turf was put into an unheated glasshouse, with regular watering. 20 days later the turf looked like this and was perfect to be used at RHS Chelsea.

Show Turf Grown On Show Turf 2

WILDFLOWER SHOW TURF STRAIGHT FROM THE TURF BED

When taking grown on turf directly from us to site, you will need to think carefully about delivery and installation. The turf needs to be transported on a flat bed, if rolled the plants will be damaged. A flat bed capacity on an arctic is 40m². If you need more turf, you will require a stacked transport system such as stillages or dutch trollies. Transportation costs can therefore be expensive. Most contractors come to pick up their turf themselves. Ideally the turf should be laid onto site the same day, but if watered daily, it would be fine for a couple of days before reaching the intended spot.

 

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TIMING IS KEY

With only a set amount of turf designated, if you are planning to use Wildflower Turf it is essential to pre-order your turf so that we can monitor its growth and make sure it is at its best for when you want it. Knowing when you can get on site to plant your show garden is just as important as the show date.

DECIDING WHICH TYPE OF TURF IS RIGHT FOR YOU

If you know the look that you want to create but are not sure which would be the right product, give us a call and maybe send a picture of the design and we can let you know what would work best. The most obvious choices being whether or not you want native or non-native varieties. The timing of the show will also impact the look of the meadow. Each wildflower has different flowering times. For native wildflowers, in May, the meadow will naturally look quite pink with campion and ragged robin dominating. As we move into June, white and yellow become the more dominant colours with ox eye daisies, wild carrot and yarrow.

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Non-natives will obviously provide more colour through the season and still likely to be flowering through July and August.

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WINNING MEADOWS

Whilst gold medal winning gardens are dependent on outstanding design and exemplary execution, we know that our turf provides the look of a meadow that is well established and thriving and is well known for picking up awards at the highest level. Using Wildflower Turf takes away the stress of planting individual plants saving you time on site whilst creating a very natural look. If you want to add an extra dimension to the meadow area you can use the turf as a base canvas and plug areas with particular flowering species that are relevant to the design. A few plugs can make a significant difference to the look and if there are any plants that are definitely wanted, having plugs in the wings as insurance is a good idea.

Chelsea 14

Dan Pearson 6

 

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Launching the 2016 Wildflower Turf Accredited Installer Training Dates

Do you want to offer your clients instant wildflower meadows?

Would you like to join our growing team of accredited installers?

There has never been a better time to offer wild flower landscapes to your customers. Our specialist training will provide you with the latest methods and product knowledge for successful wild flower installations. As an accredited partner you will be eligible for substantial price discounts on the full range of our Wildflower Turf and Earth products meaning you can GUARANTEE the lowest prices to your customers.

A full day of training with both practical workshops and presentations at our headquarters in Overton, Hampshire; you will leave feeling inspired and excited about the opportunities for your landscape business.

Following your training you will be added to our Installer database that is accessible via our website to all who want to find specialist wild flower installers throughout the UK and you will be offered on-line and offline marketing support to help promote your new skills to your existing and new clients.

This year we are expanding the training programme and have dates available in April and June. The course takes place in Hampshire and we can offer advice on travel and accommodation for those of you who have further to come. We hope to grow our network of installers throughout all areas of the UK as demand for wildflower meadows continues to grow.

The price of the course is £199 + VAT but if you book and pay before March 1st you will receive our early bird discount, taking £25 off the price.

Available Training Dates

  • 7th or 14th April
  • 2nd or 9th June

‘The proof of the pudding is in the eating’, as they say and there is no better way to show you just how fantastic our products are than to show you projects from last year. Meadows designed and installed within a matter of months.

From this….

5 a. Before the works

to this….

5c. Mixing hard and soft landscaping5 b. Expansive Meadow

This project was designed by Ann Marie Powell and installed by Garden House Design. The turf was installed in April 2015. The after shots were taken in July 2015, a meadow now in full bloom and looking like it had been there forever.

Debs Winrow at Garden House Design described using Wildflower Turf as ‘the bow on the bouquet, the finishing touch that is of huge commercial importance to their business’. Using Wildflower Turf enables them to walk away from a garden build project, safe in the knowledge that a gardener can easily maintain their creation and there is little risk of failure of the planting.

If you would like more information on the Accredited Installer Programme then please speak to our Accreditation Manager – Toby James who can be contacted by phone – 01256 771222. 

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2015 Wildflower Turf Round Up – Meadow Icons

2015 was a very special year at Wildflower Turf for many reasons, but there were 3 projects that really stood out as ‘Meadow Icons’. All were very different, but it is fair to say that each will have had a huge impact on the way in which wildflower meadows are viewed by people from around the world. The messages that these iconic wildflower projects were promoting included the embracing of ‘wilder’ design in gardens and green spaces, the positive effects that wildflower meadows can have on health and well-being and the importance of wildflowers as a food source for our pollinators, that in turn help to sustain food resources for our global population.

First up is the RHS Chelsea 2015 ‘Best in Show’.

The return of Dan Pearson to RHS Chelsea was eagerly awaited, with his interpretation of the Paxton gardens at the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire. Dan has always been known for his ‘wild’ gardens and has long been the flag bearer for garden design inspired by nature. It was therefore with great excitement that we accepted the challenge to grow a native wildflower turf for this particular project.

With just 6 days to go before the show the site was finally ready to receive the turf. As with the Olympic Opening Ceremony, the only way to transport the turf was on stillages, allowing the contractors to lay directly onto site without damaging the meadow.

CElbv4dWYAAgxldThe turf was laid in a week of full sun and required constant watering to bed in, but within 6 days the turf looked perfect with plenty of campion and ragged robin flowering at just the right moment. The wildflower turf formed the basis for large sections of the garden with plug plants such as the candelabra primula (Primula ‘Inverewe’) and aconite buttercup (Ranunculus Aconitifolius) looking at home in the mix.

Chelsea 14

Undoubtedly to bring a show garden of this magnitude together in such a short period of time is not for the feint hearted and the attention to detail was breath-taking with the Crocus team working tirelessly to get the garden to perfection. The result of Dan Pearson’s passion for naturalism and his skill as a designer inspired this meeting point of nature and horticulture and a garden on the wild side, even though it was entirely man-made. He hoped that by stepping into this garden you felt closer to nature and without a doubt you did. It is the balance of macro and micro design that leads to outstanding gardens. The macro view with the huge boulders forming the hard landscaping balanced the micro detail that can be seen in the complex communities of wildflowers seen in the smallest six inch square of ground space. This understanding and unending attention to detail resulted in a stand out winner and ‘Best in Show’ at RHS Chelsea 2015.

It was a privilege to be involved in this project and watch the public reaction to something that was far from the normal manicured plots that tend to dominate the garden design world. This was a ground breaking project, placing nature and biodiversity at the top of the list for garden trends in the coming years whilst reinforcing a wider interest and awareness for wildflowers in general. 161,000 people visited the show this year and millions were glued to the coverage on the television.

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Providing a ‘wild’ outlook for patients at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

2015 was a year in which there was much publicity about the health benefits of immersing yourself in green spaces. For those less able and with poor health it is often difficult to get out into parks and wilder spaces. When the architects of the new Alder Hey Hospital were planning the building, they asked patients and their families what they would most like to be incorporated within the design. For many, it was to be able to look out onto flowers and have access to nature, and so they came up with a brilliant design incorporating play decks on every level that were surrounded with wildflowers. It is an outstanding project and you can see how the hospital was built on the Alder Hey website.

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We were asked to grow over 5000m² of a bespoke Wildflower Turf to cover the roof, walls and surrounding area of Alder Hey, working with one of our accredited installers, ABG Geo Synthetics. The turf was laid through the late summer and autumn and so wasn’t flowering at the time of opening in October but we are so excited to see pictures of the play decks in the coming year, when the children are able to finally get up close to nature whilst playing.IMG_0023

Alder Hey October 2015 ii  Alder Hey October 2015  FullSizeRender8    Royal Visit

And finally…the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015

The World Expo 2015 had a core theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. It aimed to highlight one of the most pressing challenges of our time – how to feed and sustain an expected rise in the world’s population to 9 billion by 2050. The UK pavilion created a stand-out Pavilion inspired by the journey of the honey bee, highlighting the vital role of pollination in the global food chain. The UK Pavilion took you on an immersive journey through a British orchard and wildflower meadow, before entering a 14 metre high hive.

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Never before had we the opportunity to create a meadow as far south as Milan and also face the challenge of keeping it flowering into October. With clever maintenance cuts and essential watering the meadow looked stunning for 6 months. This was an outstanding project for many reasons. The Pavilion welcomed 3.3 million visitors during the 6 month international exhibition and visited by the top dignitaries from around the world. It was awarded a total of seven different awards on a global scale, but most importantly it won the BIE Gold Award for Architecture and Landscape Design.

This was quite simply an inspirational project, highlighting the importance of our pollinators and pushing that message out to millions of people from around the world.

Pavilion design by Wolfgang Buttress and installed by Stage One.

In the hive   James Visit to milan

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