Wildflowers Unite A Community (Part Two)

The second installment of our tale of a community that has come together to transform their communal space. And won a Green Flag Community Award to boot!

The Katherine Buchan Meadow in Ealing, London had received enough funding to ensure that the key elements of their rejuvenation project were able to be completed. So where next for the project team?

With funding from Ealing Council’s “Transform Your Space” programme now confirmed, further community consultation was undertaken by the project team of Amanda and Sim, and landscaping preparation was able to be finalised.

Work begins – Picture supplied by Amanda Rutkowski

Central to the green was a large mound. Delving into the annals of local history revealed that the mound itself dated from the 1970’s, but the resulting rubble contained within was dated much earlier. In 1876, four Alms Houses for single women of the parish were built by one Katherine Buchan, in honour of her father, also a local charitable figure.

When these Alms Houses were demolished in 1976, the resulting rubble was disposed of nearby, with the surrounding area turned into a green space. (Fittingly, the new meadow is named after, and celebrates, the life and community spirit of Katherine Buchan.)

The final plan for the rejuvenated space included; re-routing and relaying the main path around the mound, create a stag beetle habitat, the installation of a tree seat, removal of tired shrubs, the creation of a substantial and welcoming curved seating area and, central to the project, the laying of a wildflower meadow.

Curved seating area supplied by Streetlife

As well as providing much needed funding, Ealing Council were also instrumental in assisting the steering group with support and advice, with the Council working in partnership to see the project realised.

And every step of the way the local community was invited to become involved with leaflets distributed, social media utilised and local consultation meetings held regularly.

After a busy 12 months of planning and community consultation, the 12th of February 2017 heralded in “Breaking Ground Day”.  With the help of over 30 members of the local community (and children and four-legged friends) much of the area was stripped of unwanted and neglected material.

Following on from this initial day of clearing, further working parties made up of local community members were organised for volunteer days during February and March of 2017.

As well as the incredible progress made during the community working party days, Sim and his team of two completed the hard and soft landscaping of the site, which included the installation of a 14-metre feature bench (supplied by Streetlife (https://www.streetlife.nl/en) in Holland) and a wildflower meadow supplied by Wildflower Turf Ltd.

Wildflower Turf ready to be laid.

Working with the project’s collaborative partner, Ealing Council, Wildflower Turf Ltd provided 289m² of Border Turf and 200m² of Wildflower Earth Flora Britannica, with installation occurring in March 2017. The Wildflower Turf Ltd Team also provided technical support to the project and landscaping teams to ensure that installation of the Wildflower Turf and Wildflower Earth was swift and straightforward.

Wildflower Earth bags.

With a very dry end to the 2017 winter, locals committed to a roster for watering-in the newly laid Wildflower Turf and Wildflower Earth and within a short space of time the wildflower meadow was blooming.

Meadow in bloom – picture supplied by Amanda Rutkowski

The dedication shown by local members of the community and Sim and his landscaping team made it possible for the site to be quickly completed and the Katherine Buchan Meadow was officially declared open on the 9th April 2017.

Local businesses donated food and drink, the local ukulele group provided musical accompaniment, and the community came out in force to support and embrace the uplifting changes that had been made to their shared space.

Official opening of Katherine Buchan Meadow

Today, the Katherine Buchan Meadow is maintained by a local band of volunteers, with working parties attending to the maintenance of the area every 8-12 weeks. With the space now opened-up vandalism has been non-existent, and the green is now a calm and communal space with locals taking time to sit awhile and enjoy the beautiful landscaping. Thanks to Amanda and Sim’s vision and dedication, the project has transformed a once-neglected space into a glorious wildflower meadow which takes pride of place in the heart of this local community.

Wildflowers in bloom – pictures supplied by Paul James

Further testament to the impact of the Katherine Buchan Meadow is the recent achievement of a Green Flag Community Award (http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk/which was bestowed in July 2018, and saw the project painstakingly assessed against a set of 24 different criteria. Likewise, the team are also awaiting news as to their entry into the RHS Gardening ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition.

Huge congratulations must go to Amanda, Sim and the dedicated community who have worked so tirelessly to bring about such a fundamental change. It’s been an honour to be involved in this project and we look forward to sharing further updates as the Katherine Buchan Meadow continues to mature and evolve.


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Wildflowers Unite A Community (Part One)

Receiving news last week that the Katherine Buchan Meadow in London has been awarded a Green Flag Community Award, we thought it was high time we featured the story of how this delightful meadow came about.

The Katherine Buchan Meadow in Ealing, London, is testament to what can be achieved when a local community comes together with a shared desire to enhance their local environment.

Once a bustling and busy, yet very neglected space within the Old Hanwell conservation area, the green has been transformed into a beautiful wildflower meadow which has become a local hub for those who live and work nearby.

A place for all – Picture supplied by Paul James

With a location close to Ealing’s St Mark’s primary school and boasting a historical Victorian church building as a backdrop, the meadow has sympathetically transformed the space into which it has been installed.

Previously the area was treated solely as a thoroughfare; dog walkers, locals on their way to or from work, children and the families rushing to and from school, and local residents on their way to the nearby canal or local allotment all rushed through the green. Sadly, there was little on offer to encourage anyone to dwell.  

The green before – Picture supplied by Paul James

Exhibiting a forgotten air the green was also often the home of anti-social behaviour, with discarded rubbish and vandalism commonplace.

Discarded rubbish – picture supplied by Paul James

However, all of that changed in 2014 when a project to regenerate the green was launched and championed by long-term local resident, Amanda Rutkowski.

Amanda saw the potential to open-up and transform the green into a beautiful, light, airy space that would enhance the experience of all who passed through whilst also introducing and encouraging a diversity of wildlife to the area.

Bee on Ragged Robin – Picture supplied by Paul James

Additionally, Amanda saw an opportunity to create a truly communal space connecting the local community and St Marks Primary school through research, development and stewardship of the green.

Amanda’s garden design and horticultural background played a large part in shaping her vision for the green and she took her initial thoughts to a local neighbour for his input. Little did he know it at the time, but award-winning designer and landscaper Sim Flemons was soon to join Amanda as co-founder of the project.

Amanda and Sim pooled their ideas and expertise and developed a brief for the project which they circulated amongst the local community. Feedback for the rejuvenation plans was extremely positive, however a lack of funding was the key constraint for moving the project from conceptual stage to reality.

Encouraging community involvement – picture supplied by Paul James

In 2015, the opportunity for funding assistance arose via Ealing Council’s “Transform Your Space” programme, an initiative championed by cabinet member Bassam Mahfouz. As part of the criteria for funding consideration the project team was invited to mount a campaign and obtain public support for the project via SpaceHive https://www.spacehive.com/creating-katherine-buchan-meadow-tys2

The next step in the process was for Amanda and Sim to transform their vison into a workable design, and a formalised framework was drawn-up which allowed the project to be costed-out and material options considered. A social media campaign was also launched to assist with garnering public interest and support and to encourage donations to the crowdfunding appeal.

In early 2016, Amanda and Sim were invited to formally present the project to Ealing Council. After meeting the Council’s challenge to raise £1000.00 in crowdfunding, the project was awarded £46,300, and in March 2016 the Katherine Buchan Meadow Trust was officially formed.

So, what now for our intrepid team? What do Alms Houses have to do with wildflowers? All will be revealed in Part Two of our blog, stay tuned!

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All Aboard the Wildflower Train

The Wildflower Turf Ltd team are very proud to see our Hampshire-grown wildflowers playing their part in the regeneration of Canning Town as part of London’s ambitious Crossrail project.

Set to open in December 2018, Crossrail will deliver a high frequency, high capacity service to make travelling in the capital quicker and easier while also easing congestion and reducing crowding on London’s transport network.

Working with one of our landscaping partners, Turney Landscapes Ltd, our very own Wildflower Turf is now capping the emergency exit shaft of the Crossrail site in the Limmo Peninsula.

Wildflower Roof Turf being laid in March 2018

Turney Landscapes Ltd laying Wildflower Roof Turf .

As Crossrail’s primary worksite for their eastbound tunnel boring machines, the Limmo Peninsula area adjoins Canning Town underground and Docklands Light Railway station and is next to the River Lee.

Overlooked by high-rise developments, a key consideration in planning for the Limmo Peninsula area has focussed on ensuring biodiverse solutions that provide commuters, local workers and Canning Town residents alike with a landscape that is as aesthetically pleasing as possible as well as providing a suitable habitat for wildlife.

Ragged Robin on the Limmo Peninsula site taken in mid May – picture supplied by Turney Landscapes Ltd

Wildflower Roof Turf in flower early June – Picture supplied by Turney Landscapes Ltd

Turney Landscapes have been a Tier 2 contractor with engineering joint-venture contractors Skanska-Costain JV since 2015, where their initial brief was to create a green space on the Headhouse shaft of the Mile End Crossrail site. (The Mile End project involved creating a large bund to hide the concrete Headhouse and then creating a green space with tree and shrub planting, attenuation and footpaths, and a wildflower meadow supplied by Wildflower Turf Ltd.)

Following the successful completion of Mile End, Turney Landscapes were then briefed to carry out works on the Limmo Peninsula site. This large scale project included gabion basket walls with large areas of Grasscrete for parking, a tarmac path (escape route), site entrance , an access road and biodiverse soft landscaping over the shaft head itself. Wildflower Turf Ltd were once again delighted to assist with the enhancement of the area and worked closely with the Turney’s team to ensure that strict site requirements were met.

Turney Landscapes installed 2,600m² of Wildflower Turf Ltd’s Roof Turf  – http://bit.ly/2uLN0WK in March and April of this year, across and down the sloping 8-metre-high exit shaft. At the time of writing, the wildflower meadow is at waist height in full flower, and already providing a haven for wildlife.

Ox Eye daisy taken in early June – Picture supplied by Turney Landscapes Ltd

“Wildflower Turf Ltd. were instrumental in providing us with the product we required in a timely and professional manner. Despite a challenging sloping site and strict on site Health & Safety rules, the installation of the Wildflower Turf was very straightforward, and our task was made easier with the support of the Wildflower Turf team and the high quality of the product supplied.”

“Working on such a large-scale and time-critical site as the Limmo Peninsula, it is crucial that our suppliers are able to adapt to many and varied requirements. The team at Wildflower Turf Ltd. assisted us to ensure that this project was delivered on time and in budget, and the resulting wildflower meadow is already providing a spectacular display of colour and habitat for wildlife.”

Steve Turney, Director, Turney Landscapes Ltd




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Nature Deficit Disorder. It’s time to reconnect.

With longer days on the horizon and Easter now almost upon us, you’d be forgiven for thinking that spring, that much lauded of seasons, is just around the corner. We can only hope!

After a long winter many of us yearn for some time spent outdoors in nature but what happens when we lack this most basic commodity?

The term “Nature Deficit Disorder” has been around since 2005, but the phenomenon has only recently started to make headlines.

The term itself refers to a trend towards an increased alienation from the natural world, brought about by our increasing dependency on electronic devices and a loss of natural surroundings. Specifically, it is the costs of such an alienation that is sparking concerns.

While not a medically recognised disorder as such, the term is beginning to gain some prominence, with Dr Ross Cameron of the department of landscape at Sheffield University recently addressing The Royal Horticultural Society on the subject.

“As biological beings we are physiologically adapted to be in certain environments – to run, to play, to hunt, to be active basically,” says Dr Cameron.

The ramifications of a sedentary lifestyle are being felt, not just in Britain, but around the world. As we, and in particular our children, spend more time indoors under artificial lights plugged into our electronic landscape, our lack of affinity with our natural surroundings has the potential to bring about low mood and a reduced attention span.

So how best to address the imbalance?

The Royal Horticultural Society has the following recommendations for reconnecting with nature:

  • Any green environment – from pot plants to weeds – can provide green space that attracts wildlife and exposes people to the benefits of the natural world.
  • Some green spaces are better than others – for example, small-leaved conifers such as the Scots pine and Junipers are good at capturing pollutant particles.
  • Fast-growing trees such as the Paulownia and Catalpa can lock up excess soil nitrates.

In conjunction with the above recommendations, wildflowers offer a low-maintenance, high-return option for enhancing environments. Whether it be a full meadow or a splash of colour within an urban landscape setting, wildflowers are easily adapted to a myriad of landscapes and also offer the added advantage of providing a bio-diverse habitat for birds, bees and other species.

Similarly, regular followers of this blog will be aware of ongoing studies into the ability of wildflowers to ‘lock-up’ pollution particulates, yet another great reason to maximise the many benefits that wildflowers have to offer.

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Wildflower Turf Ltd Provides Characterful Landscaping to New Development in Crowthorne

With UK construction and associated infrastructure continuing apace, a new development in Berkshire has been a recent project for Wildflower Turf Ltd.

Buckler’s Park in Crowthorne, Berkshire, is located on the former Transport Research Laboratory site and is comprised of 1,000 high-quality, contemporary-styled homes.

Adjacent to a new country park and with over 100 acres of parkland and open space, several key areas of the site are now enhanced with wildflowers provided by Wildflower Turf Ltd.

Bucklers Park, Crowthorne – Picture supplied by Benchmark Grounds Maintenance Ltd

The developers of Buckler’s Park, Legal & General Homes, have aimed to provide a sustainable environment that is in keeping with the natural areas that border the development. To ensure a seamless transition, Legal & General Homes specified wildflowers within the designated Public Open Space area of their design and contactors, Benchmark Grounds Maintenance Ltd (http://www.benchmark-gm.co.uk/) contacted Wildflower Turf Ltd for advice and assistance.

In November 2017, Wildflower Turf Ltd supplied 950m² of Border Non-Native turf to the project, with installation completed by Benchmark Grounds Maintenance Ltd.

Border Turf – Picture supplied by Benchmark Grounds Maintenance Ltd

Border Non-Native turf was installed within the specified Public Open Space adjacent to the Show Homes, providing the area with some wildflower magic! With minimal maintenance required, the turf is looking fantastic and will provide a riot of colour as well as providing a sustainable and bio-diverse habitat for birds, bees and other species.

Border Turf – Picture supplied by Benchmark Grounds Maintenance Ltd

Project Coordinator at Benchmark Grounds Maintenance Ltd, Emma McCarthy, has been thrilled with the ease of installation and resulting appearance, saying, “We were very impressed with the quality of the Wildflower turf and the staff were very accommodating to our needs and requirements. If we require Wildflower turf in the future, we would be more than happy to use this product and company again”.


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Wildflower Turf Makes the Grade

Never one to let the grass grow under our feet (!) the Wildflower Turf team have been delighted to assist the University of York enhance their environment as they work towards the completion of new campus facilities.

The University commenced work on the construction of a new building, The Piazza Learning Centre, in Autumn 2015, with the project due to be completed next month. Containing a range of high-quality learning spaces and facilities for those living and studying on the University’s Campus East the new building will offer, among other things, a 350-seat auditorium and a large restaurant with fantastic lake views.

University of York – The Piazza Learning Centre, artist impression

At the outset of the project, the University of York had a very clear and practical biodiversity plan, developed in conjunction with Gordon Eastham (Grounds Maintenance Manager), for the picturesque lakeside campus where the Piazza Building was to be built.

Wildflower Turf laid around landscaping features – picture from J Palmer (Landscapes) Ltd

This part of the campus is a definite natural asset to the University and, whilst they wanted the building to be sympathetic to the local landscape, it was equally important that it was fully accessible to their student population.

To enhance the natural environment and in keeping with the University’s biodiversity plan, Wildflower Turf has supplied over 1,800m² of our unique Native Enriched Wildflower Turf to the project. The Wildflower Turf was installed in November 2017 and has provided the University with a wonderful and aesthetically pleasing space.

1,800m² Native Enriched Turf installed in November 2017 – picture from J Palmer (Landscapes) Ltd

Additionally, the 50+ species within the turf will help the project to qualify for very good BREEAM standards.

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

Other key parties involved with this project include Interserve Construction Ltd (Design & Build contractors), Race Cottam Associates, (Architects), J Palmers Landscapes (Landscape contractors), and Martin Woolley Landscape Architects.

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Featured Accredited Partner – Steve Williams of Steve Williams Landscapes


Our featured partner this month is Steve Williams of Steve Williams Landscapes (www.stevewilliamslandscapes.com). Originally from Derby, but now residing in Bristol, Steve originally studied Photographic Art at degree level before moving into horticulture and landscaping.

Drawing on his creative arts studies, Steve has developed a successful horticultural design style that integrates his passion for form, the abstract and the innovative with an over-riding interest in ecology and biodiversity.

Steve describes his style as “versatile and contemporary, using innovative techniques and soft, natural plantings with the aim of breaking down the divide between the natural environment and the human landscape.”

Steve completed a one-year garden design diploma course at the Cotswold Gardening School, Gossington, and was shortlisted for two prestigious garden design awards within months of graduating.

Competing against a record 64 other entries in the annual competition run by the Society of Garden Designers (SGD), Steve is now a finalist in both the commercial and domestic student categories, with the winners to be announced in February 2018.

One of Steve’s competition entries was for a new area at Slimbridge Wetland Centre – see below.

Slimbridge Presentation Plan


While the other was for the garden of a highly contemporary, energy-efficient ‘passive’ house.

The Cut

Steve has commented, “Planting is a major element to my designs and creating a range of habitat layers to boost the biodiversity of an area is something I pay special attention to. Wildflowers are a major player in this process as they can be the most colourful and vibrant aspect to a planting scheme but are also essential for many pollinators and vastly boost the biodiversity of a space.”

The Cut Living Space

Inspired by a lecture on wildflowers during his studies, Steve delved further into the benefits and opportunities presented by this particular landscaping solution. Thanks to an introduction to the Wildflower Turf product through the Cotswold Gardening School, Steve went on to utilise Wildflower Turf in his own designs, and became an accredited partner of Wildflower Turf in 2016.

“Wildflower Turf is a great product and very easy to work with. The product goes down easily with very minimal ground preparation, and is fantastic for problematic areas. A recent project, with very poor soil, has been transformed after laying Wildflower Turf. The Accreditation Programme has also been invaluable, and it’s a great opportunity to learn from the experts.”

We wish Steve every success at the SGD awards and are delighted to be able to share an example of one of Steve’s projects using Wildflower Turf.

Preparation completed

Wildflower Turf ready to be laid

Turf laid

An early shot of turf starting to grow

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Portsmouth University SuDS Research – Researching the Benefits of Wildflowers in Water Pollution Mitigation

Sustainable Urban Drainage systems (SUDs) have really come to the fore in recent years due to the increased occurrence of significantly damaging flood events in the UK and around the world.  The need to find a better planning solution to deal with increased surface water, particularly in urban areas, that also dovetails with the all- important green infrastructure agenda, has never been greater.

New build developments and expanding transport infrastructure tend to interrupt rainfall and the natural movement of water.  With greater surface areas of non-permeable materials, a fast influx of rainfall will inevitably lead to flooding and an increased potential for erosive damage downstream and pollution by contaminated water.

Janine Robinson from Portsmouth University wanted to gain a greater understanding of how grasses and wildflowers could play a role in slowing the water flow, therefore reducing erosion and giving the vegetation and soil an opportunity to absorb and ‘lock in’ water borne pollutants.


Water borne pollutants tend to be grouped into either: Metals (which have been extensively studied) or PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Janine wanted to focus on the impact and journey of man-made PAHs often created by vehicle emissions; brake dust; oil found in road run-off.

Her research encompassed trials using 5 main PAHs including the carcinogenic Benzopyrene. She wanted to look into how pollutants could either be retained or actively absorbed by plants.

The work:

At the outset of the project a model swale just under 10m in length was set up, with turf supplied by Wildflower Turf Ltd bedded in during the end of November 2015. The turf was laid on a 30cm bed of soil to allow sediment samples to be taken at depth.

Building the 10m swale

The research then focused on gaining an understanding of the hydrology of the model swale, looking at wet and dry sediment and also low and dense vegetation, with the vegetation cut down to simulate the maintenance that might occur in an urban area.

Wildflower SUDs Turf

A pollutant source heavy in PAHs was then introduced to the swale as a simulated storm event; i.e. 1,000 litres of water was introduced over a 30-minute period, with the pollutant source (500 litres) sent down the swale during the first 15 minutes of the simulated storm event.  Regular, simulated storm events were repeated, with sediment samples taken every two weeks to assess pollutant levels. Runoff out the end of the swale was also collected regularly to allow the output of water quantity to be monitored. Samples have then been taken in between the simulated rain events to assess the degradation of pollutants over time. Secondary mesocosms (more detailed experimental systems) have also been built to prove that it is the plants that are causing the reduction in pollutants, with these experiments currently in progress.

Simulated storm event

 The results thus far:

While still ongoing, certain key observations have been recorded:

  • After being subjected to intense pollution, recovery of the plants has been swift, with no visible effect to the growth of the plants
  • In the 18 months since bedding in the turf, the root system is mainly located within the top 5cm of soil. Fine roots are penetrating further, but the dense structure of the planting is limited to the upper layer
  • Subsequent to the storm events, there was a four-fold increase in the average presence of PAHs in the soil which shows successful capture of the pollutants
  • The majority of pollution has been detected in the top 5cm of soil, potentially suggesting that the root system is aiding the retention of pollutants, although this requires further investigation
  • PAH levels are significantly lower in the 5-10cm layer compared to the 0-5cm layer for the heavier PAHs. This significant decrease in certain PAHs between the layers sampled indicate that the planted layer traps and retains the particle-bound pollutants.

Healthy SUDs turf

 Research extract:

“Based on evidence so far collated it is clear that vegetated swales show significant improvement in water quality.”

Janine Robinson, University of Portsmouth

 We look forward to updating you on Janine’s findings as this research progresses, but results to date certainly indicate that wildflowers have an important role to play in terms of mitigating pollution.

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Alconbury Weald – A bespoke Wildflower Turf solution for Cambridgeshire multi-purpose site


Formally an airfield, the site of Alconbury Weald was acquired by property company Urban & Civic in 2009. Currently in development, and with a 20-year timescale, the site will boast a 3 million sq. foot Enterprise Zone, 5,000 new homes, 3 primary schools, community facilities and 700 acres of open spaces and sporting amenities when completed.

The work:

The principal Landscape Architects, Bradley Murphy Design (BMD), met with Wildflower Turf in Hampshire in the autumn of 2014, to request tailored advice as to the most appropriate products to specify as part of the initial development designs for a very discerning client, Urban & Civic.

Urban & Civic have very high standards of delivery and wanted to ensure that everyone involved in their supply chain completed as much due diligence as possible to ensure that the results on site were exactly as they envisioned. This resulted in BMD requesting a series of small pilot sites of a wide range of Wildflower Turf products (Wildflower Turf® and Wildflower Earth, both ‘off-the-shelf’ mixes and bespoke mixes) a full year in advance of installation, to assess the results before choosing the final specification and products to be installed as part of the development.

Trial Bed Preparation

Trial Beds Growing

Landscape contractors Whiting Landscape Ltd completed a very thorough job in setting up, installing and pictorially tracking the multiple pilot sites over time.  The planting trials commenced in May 2015 and concluded the following winter 2015/16, with the first permanent installations starting on site in the spring of 2016.

As part of their commitment to ensuring that the wildflowers were installed correctly, Whiting Landscape Ltd attended training at Wildflower Turf Ltd and have since become an Accredited Partner.

One of the top performers in the trials was a bespoke Woodland Edge Mix, designed specifically by BMD to blend beautifully with the existing woodland area and provide a seamless transition from the woodland into open public green space.

Trial beds in flower

Since 2016, approximately 2,500m² of Wildflower Turf and approximately 5,000m² of Wildflower Earth has been shipped to site, with more shipments planned for the future.

 The results:

Working closely with the contractors, and with the ability to develop unique and individual blends based on specific requirements, Wildflower Turf have delivered product solutions to ensure that the landscape of Alconbury Weald is, and remains, impactful and sustainable, just as the client planned.

Turf on site


“Working closely with Wildflower Turf Ltd in the development of an approach for Alconbury Weald was fundamental to the success of wildflowers implemented throughout the scheme.

Utilising the range of products available and bespoke mixes, we’ve been able to ensure a balance between instant impact in targeted areas and cost effective delivery, with some great responses from the client, local residents and visitors to the site.”

Harry Powell, Bradley Murphy Design Ltd


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Wildflower Turf Demand in Europe.

In the spring of 2012 we were approached by a Belgian Landscape Architect, Frank Adriaenssens, who was interested in introducing an increased wildlife and biodiverse landscape into his landscaping projects in Belgium. Frank has a client list that takes him all over the world designing and project managing some impressive garden and landscaping projects. In recent years he developed an interest in wildflowers and he started to introduce them into his projects to soften some of the edges of some of the more formal designs found in the gardens of Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

However, in order to do this, he knew he lacked a reliable method of delivering the wildflower areas. In the spring of 2012 he used his own garden as a guinea pig and installed 200m² of our WFT34 Landscape Turf to test the product.

Wildflower Turf being installed in Frank’s garden, 2015

Frank was delighted with the results:

Frank joined our Accredited Partner program in 2014. At the same time we agreed that he would become our sole distributor for Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg (BENELUX) and he has been using our products on various projects since then.

Last month, my wife Claire and I visited Belgium to see Frank and catch up with the projects he has worked on this year. There have been some excellent installations and despite the early season drought, you can see some of the results below.

Wildflower Turf flowering in Frank’s garden in June 2013 after installation in spring 2012. To give extra colour the area was under planted with Camassia bulbs.


Rose, Frank’s Weimaraner, inspects the meadow.

This roundabout was installed using Landscape WFT34 in the spring of 2015 in Knokke,  north of Bruges.

Knokke, West Flanders, north of Bruges

In October 2014 over 1000m² of Wildflower Turf was installed at De Efteling Theme Park, this is the number one theme park in the Netherlands.

Wildflower Turf ready for installation at De Efteling Theme Park in the Netherlands.

Instant cover gave a well-established meadow for the opening of this section of the park.

The Symbolica Palace in the background

In April 2016 Frank used Wildflower Earth for the first time on a landscape design just outside Antwerp. 1400m² of Landscape WFE34 was used and following help and advice from us the installation was quick and easy.

14.4.16 Franks intricate yet practical design allowed for an immersive experience for the clients and quick and reliable results for Frank. Despite some weed pressure from surrounding fields, the preparation and installation gave excellent results.

18.5.16 Quick establishment is the key to a successful wildflower meadow.

17.6.16 The emerging meadow takes shape two months after installation.

11.9.17 Our autumnal visit this year showed the amazing development of the meadow in its second year of establishment. Frank had held off cutting this back to show us and the species diversity was superb. The fertile soil has resulted in a lot of growth but with a regime of cutting and removing, this fertility will reduce over the next year or two. Next year Frank will instigate a two cut approach for certain areas of the meadow to help later flowering species show their true colours and encourage some later flowering species.

Frank’s most recent project was to surround the new food hall at Ghent University. The 750m² of Landscape WFT34 turf was laid around the building in April 2017 and although it suffered in the spring and early summer through drought stress, it has thrived with the rain over the summer.

The Resto at Ghent University

The design remit was to integrate the building into the campus environment. Frank used the levels to form a bank of soil that rose to window level along the long panoramic view from inside the hall. The effect was to immerse the diner into the depths of the wildflower meadow whilst they sit looking out of the window. It feels like they are sharing their meal with the bees and the butterflies – although a pane of glass separates the two!

The panoramic view overlooking the wildflower meadow and the wider campus beyond.

We were really struck by the design of the building and the way the surrounding landscaped meadow complemented it so well. The fact that the diners could integrate with nature over lunch added an unusual and captivating experience to the University meal time.

The immersive outlook allows a close study of nature while the students eat their lunch!

On discussion with Frank, we decided that there was now an opportunity to promote the habitat, biodiversity and wildlife by including small interpretation notices on the window sills to explain the value of the species rich habitat and list the flowers and wildlife on view.

The building’s contemporary design is complemented by the wild look of the meadow.

We were delighted to see all the impressive installations Frank has been involved with and how well he has taken on our practical advice for the installation and maintenance of the products. Many thanks to Frank for taking the time to show us round.  It was also very interesting to get an understanding of the promising demand for this biodiverse environment in this area of Europe.

Frank Adriaenssens is our sole distributor of Wildflower Turf in the Benelux region. His website is www.bt-bloementapijten.com and his contact details can be found there.

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