Wildflower Turf – here are your best bits of 2018!!

As 2018 draws to a close (how did that come about so quickly?), we thought we’d share with you a selection of projects and key highlights from our year. It’s been a very busy and rewarding twelve months for the Wildflower Turf Ltd team, and we’re looking forward to continuing to share news and insights with you as the New Year commences.

January 2018 saw us exhibiting again at the BTME BIGGA Turf Management exhibition Harrogate, and we’ll be there in 2019 too. Pop it in your diary and come and say hello!

Our BIGGA Stand in 2018 – We will be on Stand 114 next year

Still in that part of the world and not too far away from Harrogate, The University of York formally opened The Piazza Learning Centre at the start of this year. Containing a range of high-quality learning spaces and facilities for those living and studying on the University’s Campus East, the area around the new building features 1,800m² of our Native Enriched Wildflower Turf. (Read more about this project here.)

Aerial view of the site – picture from J Palmer (Landscapes) Ltd

The Beast from the East arrived in February, bringing unusually low temperatures and heavy snowfall to a widespread area and causing general disruption. Timing is everything though, and thankfully our Managing Director, James Hewetson-Brown, dodged the worst of the late winter weather to attend the Pro Landscaper Business Awards and celebrate with nominees and winners.

With the worst of this year’s inclement weather behind us, Helen Gillespie-Brown attended the Landscape 50 Conference in Sheffield. Hosted by the University of Sheffield the conference brought together leading thinkers and practitioners from around the world to set out a bold future vision for Landscape Architecture and provided much food-for-thought to those in attendance.

Closer to home, we supplied 2,768m² of Bespoke Wildflower Turf to a new residential site in London. The Caledonian Road development in Islington is the site of 156 new apartments built by Telford Homes, built on a narrow strip of land with SINC (Site of Importance for Natural Conservation) designation and within the vicinity of a Eurotunnel entrance. Check out our case study for this particular project here.

We also sent 650m² of Shade Tolerant Wildflower Turf to our Accredited Partner Frank Adriaenssens in Belgium, and the exclusive Hotel and Members Club Soho Farmhouse took their first shipment of over 1,350m² of Landscape Turf, with the last shipment arriving to them in June, with a view to take more on site before the year is out.

April saw the final delivery of Wildflower Turf to the Rossall Coastal Defence scheme site in Lancashire. With a new sea wall finally finished after 4 years in construction, the immediate coastal grasslands were in dire need of remediation and rejuvenation. This particular project saw us provide 28,000m² of Bespoke grown turf over an 11-month period.

Our Production Team were kept very busy this month, as April also saw us provide Accredited Partners Turney Landscapes with 2,350m² of Wildflower Turf Roof Turf, destined to cap off an exit shaft at the Canning Town Crossrail, Limmo Penninsula. (You can read more about this project here.)

Image supplied by Turney Landscapes Ltd

We also commenced our first shipment of turf to Cornwall Council for their GI4G project, and we worked with Filmscapes on an order destined for the movie, The Secret Garden, starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters.

May saw the Wildflower Turf Ltd team holding Accreditation Days at both our Hampshire and Yorkshire sites, and we’re thrilled to have welcomed 71 new Accredited Partners into the fold this year.

Our training room in Hampshire

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show always creeps up quickly, and this year appeared to be no different! We supplied Butter Wakefield Garden Design with 6m² of Wildflower Show Turf;  Butter was invited by Gaze Burvill to design the trade stand for their 25th Anniversary year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which resulted in Butter being awarded “5 Stars” together with the much coveted “Best Trade Stand” by the RHS Judges.

We also managed a few minutes of YouTube fame courtesy of Kirk Hardes of Growing Native. We supplied Kirk with 700m² of Native Enriched turf that was installed as part of a fantastic project at Paglesham in Essex. The video detailing the project is well worth a view, check it out here.

Accredited Partner Kirk Hardes – Growing Native

The Beast from the East was long forgotten once June rolled around and the country was gripped by a heatwave.  Thanks to the drought-tolerant nature of wildflower meadows, we saw only minimal watering required and once again wildflowers up and down the country have proved their worth.

We went back to school in June and were delighted to hear that Frimley Junior School (who we supplied 80m² of Landscape Turf to back in March) had scooped up an RHS Green Garden award as they also celebrated their 150-year anniversary.

This month also saw us working with Accredited Partner N T Killingley Ltd to supply 7,400m² of Bespoke Turf for a project at the University of Nottingham.

The temperatures continued to climb in July but that didn’t stop us!

The dates for the RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival were circled in red and we supplied 40m² of Show Turf to the 30th Anniversary Countryfile Garden, designed by Ann-Marie Powell. We were fortunate enough to attend the opening event where we were thrilled to meet RHS director Sue Biggs, as well as Nicki Chapman and Tom Heap from Countryfile.

RHS Hampton Court – The lovely Nicki Chapman with Claire & Becs

We were well represented at this year’s Garden Festival; we also supplied 900m² of Wildflower Turf Landscape Turf and 80m² of Wildflower Annuals Earth to Historic Royal Palaces for the Battlefield to Butterflies Garden, as well as providing 70m² of Show Turf to the main sponsored garden, the Viking Cruises Nordic Lifestyle Garden.

Historic Royal Palaces – Battlefield to Butterflies Garden

And if that wasn’t enough, our turf featured in Carnaby Street (cleverly renamed Carnabee Street) in July as part of Bees’ Needs Week.

August saw us attend the opening of the Brunel House student residence in Bristol. The excellent landscaping now in place was designed by the RG Group (under the guidance of Colorado Goldwyn), who were the overall winners of the 2017 CIRIA BIG Biodiversity Challenge. The RG Group were the recipients of 200m² of turf supplied by Wildflower Turf Ltd (as part of our sponsorship of these awards which encourage the construction industry to embrace biodiversity), and it was wonderful to see the turf being utilised to improve the urban biodiversity of this particular project.

Brunel House Courtyard after – Picture supplied by Paul Groom

Enjoying the lovely summer, we found ourselves well above par (!) when we supplied 450m² of Wildflower Turf Roof Turf to Seaford Head Golf Club through Accredited Partner Landscape 2000 and Bury Hill Landscape Supplies.

September was certainly a social month for the team with Becs attending the 2018 CIRIA Big Biodiversity Awards (and congratulations to the overall winners, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, who will receive 200m² of Wildflower Turf as their prize), and, a little closer to home, the opening of the Basingstoke Peace Garden.

Our very own Becs presenting at the CIRIA Big Biodiversity Awards

We were also thrilled to receive an update from the founder of Parkinsons.Me, Ewan Stutt. After two years of hard work by a group of committed volunteers, the Parkinsons.Me community garden in West Lockinge, Oxfordshire was officially opened in September. You can read more about this wonderful, therapeutic space which features our wildflowers, on our blog.

Picture supplied by Parkinsons.me

The team were also kept busy this month preparing a large delivery of 1,050m² of Landscape Turf to Cox Landscapes for use at the Barking Riverside residential project in East London.

And if that wasn’t enough, we celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Ashley Manor wildflower meadow in the Test Valley. This is a very special garden and it was so pleasing to hear that the Wildflower Turf meadow continues to thrive and offer a home to wildlife, a full ten years after installation. We blogged about this meadow recently, you can read more here.

October saw us ship 863m² of Native Enriched Turf, 1,756m² of SUDs Turf and 123m² of Shade Tolerant Turf, on behalf of Accredited Partners Ground Control, to Jaguar Land Rover. The automotive giant is in the middle of a £200m redevelopment of its existing design and engineering centre at Gaydon in Warwickshire, with the landscaping of the new campus grounds now underway.

We also enjoyed attending the Saltex Turf Management Show in October, renewing old acquaintances and making some new friends along the way.

In November we worked with Sally Marshall Garden Design to supply 1,400m² of Native Enriched Turf to a new concept restaurant in the Holme Valley, called Devour. Formally a disused mill, this project will feature food production, a restaurant, an Italian delicatessen, a cookery school and a barista café. And of course, some gorgeous wildflowers!

Picture from Instagram @devourdaily

We also recently shipped 1,235m² of Landscape Turf to Portsea Island, Portsmouth, after receiving an order from Goddards Landscape Contractors Ltd. Helen received the PO almost two years to the day after LDA Design contacted us initially to help with this major Coastal Flood Erosion Risk Management. You can read more about the North Portsea Island project here.

And so, in a whirlwind, we reach December! Our turf is about to be laid at the newly refurbished Darwin Escapes Norfolk Woods site in Norfolk, with the holiday park due to reopen again in January 2019.

Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa during construction.

We’ve also just supplied 1,920m² of turf to Scofell Landscapes. This order will be used as part of a SUDs project at an ongoing Berkeley Homes project in Fleet.

Phew, and that’s only some of our customers and their projects! What a productive year we have had. Now it’s time for a mince pie (ok, possibly two or maybe even three) as we bid 2018 a fond farewell. We wish you and your loved ones a safe and memorable festive season and we look forward to seeing you back here on the Wildflower Turf Ltd Blog in the New Year!

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