Life is sweet when you can mix together your favourite things, and last weekend was the perfect combination - sport and gardening.
I don't mean that I got to compete in speed-weeding or synchronised digging. No, I was one of the lucky ones who got to go to the Olympic Park to see the high diving final (go, Tom, go!) and at the same time enjoy the special Olympic planting that had been done on a grand scale.
They looked simply stunning, and they were packing in the pollinators too.
The team that created the garden were from Sheffield University, who created the what they claim to be UK's 'largest man-made wildflower meadows' ever. (Of course in the past nature and Man combined to create a nation full of wildflower meadows, most of which Man has since destroyed, but I know what they mean with this claim.)
Now these weren't all native wildflowers and included flowers such as a swathe of Coreopsis (below).
But then plants like poppies aren't strictly native either, so I'm not critical of their choice. The good thing is that the species had been chosen to offer nectar and pollen for insects as well as looking great. and it was certainly working for Honeybees and hoverflies.
And there were gardens themed geographically too, such as this southern hemisphere garden with Agapanthus showing off in it, another great pollinator plant much loved by bumblebees.
And what's great is this style of planting is becoming ever better understood and available, in large part due to the work of Sheffield University and the company Pictorial Meadows.
It was definitely a gold medal from me!
I've seen a few articles & programs about the wildflowers at the Olympic Park & I am well impressed with the results of all the hard work put in. Wish I could have seen them myself but I am sure they deserve a gold medal <3
Many thanks for this update, Adrian. I'd seen pics on the tele, and thought how fabulous they looked, but wondered just how much wildlife they were attracting. Great to know it really worked! I'll send a link to this blog to my local town council so they can see what they could do if they tried!
..and a gold medal to you, Rose Marsh, for seizing the initiative in that way. Let's hope your council feels inspired
I was there on Monday and the wild flowers were fabulous. Inspiring. How can I find out how they did it and what I can replicate in my garden?