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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wildflowers at the Olympic Park. Should our traditional nature reserves add non native flowers?

Extract from an  article in the Gurdian Newspaper.


Click here to see the article

Matthew Appleby.

If you want to see the big ideas coming out of British horticulture, there's no better – or bigger – showcase than the gardens and meadows of the Olympic Park in Stratford.
The 250-hectare site in east London has been filled with 4,000 trees, 300,000 wetland plants, 15,000 square metres of lawns and more than 150,000 perennial plants, in an ambitious scheme designed to delight visitors to the Games and leave a legacy of a permanent park once the Olympics are over.
First, there are the wildflower meadows, 10 football fields-worth of them, carefully planned and sown to reach their peak just in time for the torch's arrival in east London next Friday, and sporting a suitably Olympic gold colour scheme. Wildflowers are having a moment: sales of cornflowers, field poppies and other pollinator-friendly blooms have tripled this year, influenced by Sarah Raven's TV programme Bees, Butterflies And Blooms, and Chelsea show gardens packed with wispy natives.

Please read the full article.
Interesting comments about the use of non native species which is not a new feature of the English countryside. Many plants seem to have been introduced many years ago.
This links well with the differing points of view generated by the "Fields of Dreams" in South Petherton which are currently benefiting no doubt from the sunshine. By comparison our 4 acre meadow in Curry Rivel is managed to show off plants and flowers which are native to this part of Somerset. Its a challenging thought to consider changing our policy to deliberately  bring in , say , flowers from South Africa or elsewhere. We have a meeting of our management group and I might ask for opinions on the subject. 

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