Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First open the garden, then pour the tea

Opened our garden on Sunday, for the National Garden Scheme, which for those of you who don’t know it, raises money for charities through encouraging private gardens to open to the public. They have been running since 1927, and now have thousands of gardens in the famous Yellow Book guide. Its not the first time I’ve participated in the scheme but the first for our current garden. Not surprisingly garden visiting is listed as one of the most popular hobbies in Britain.

Read on.......

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympic Glory

The North American planting: Echinacea pallida, purpurea and paradoxa. Photo:James Hitchmough

Something of an Olympic sceptic (our government is closing down sports centres all over the country) I'm glad to see a couple of good things have come out of the Olympics. That fantastic, and oh-so cool Britannia opening ceremony and the Olympic Park, with much of the planting designed by my colleagues at Sheffield Uni: James Hitchmough and Nigel Dunnett - it's revolutionary.

See my piece in The Daily Telegraph about the thinking behind the planting.

South African planting, designed by James Hitchmough, with white Galtonia candicans, pink-red Gladiolus papilio 'Ruby', pink Dierama pulcherrimum, blue Agapanthus campanulatus, and low-growing pink Diascia integerrima. The grass is Themeda triandra. 
Photo:James Hitchmough

Part of the South African planting, inspired by montane grassland of eastern SA. Photo:James Hitchmough

more from South Africa Photo:James Hitchmough

An area of British natives at the Olympic Park. These are all forbs (i.e. non-grassy species): including white Leucanthemum vulgare, pink Ononis spinosa, yellow Leontodon autumnalis and pale pink Malva moschata. Apart from the ononis, all were sown. Photo and design by James Hitchmough.

James Hitchmough's page is here.

Nigel Dunnett also from Sheffield's Dept. of Landscape has designed a whole series of
plantings based on British, European and east Asian plant communities. Some of these function as swales for absorbing water runnoff - an essential part of the SUDS - sustainable drainage system approach used at the Olympic Park. Photo credits: Nigel Dunnett

One of Nigel's swales, designed to ensure water is held amongst plants tolerant of waterlogging but not actually that moisture dependent. The bright pink is Lythrum salicaria, the white Leucanthemum vulgare.
Nigel Dunnett's website is here

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