Happy New Year to you all. We hope you had a fantastic holiday, a break away or restful time at home, whichever it was, there is something quite exciting about stepping into a new year after time away from the office or the spade! It was great to take stock of the amazing projects achieved last year, but now we are looking forward to all that 2015 will bring. We thought you might like to know what’s in store for us here at Wildflower Turf.
1. New Product Launch
We will be officially launching another pioneering product for the creation of wildflower meadows in 2015. The product will particularly suit larger wildflower landscape projects and we look forward to bringing you more news on this very soon into the New Year.
2. New Accreditation Training Dates
Our accredited installer programme goes from strength to strength, with now over 160 landscaping businesses being Accredited Partners throughout the UK. If you are looking for a wildflower installation expert then please go to our accredited installer pages where you can browse through landscapers that are close to you. We are pleased to announce that we shall be holding further training dates in Spring and Autumn this year and if you are interested in becoming an Accredited Installer and expert in wildflower landscapes then you may want to consider finding out more about the programme. Training dates in Spring will be 19th, 24th and 26th March. Please contact Toby on 01256 771222 if you are interested or apply here.
3. Landscape Shows
We exhibited at a bumper crop of landscape shows last year. It is always fantastic to see our customers face to face and meet new people interested in our products. We are likely to be at all of the main shows again this year as well as hoping to make a trip to the North of the country as well to demonstrate our new product. Dates for your diary include
Scot Hort, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh 15th September
Palmstead Soft Landscaping Workshop, Ashford, Kent 16th September
Landscape Show, Battersea Park, London 22nd and 23rd September
Futurescapes, Sandown Racecourse 17th November
4. A New Greenhuose
As any fellow gardener will know, the prospect of a new greenhouse is about as good as it gets. We have had a polytunnel for quite some time, but over the years it has taken a battering from the elements and is a winter haven for our four legged, small mammal friends who like to nibble all that we grow in there. A new greenhouse will be the start of some interesting winter trials and perhaps a small space may be taken up to tomato production in the summer!
5. Working with Noel Kingsbury
Last year James met Noel Kingsbury, an acclaimed garden designer, writer and horticultural consultant. We are looking forward to developing this relationship further and working together on a new wildflower mix.
In 2014, we welcomed our first accredited installer from Benelux. With a number of projects planned in 2015 it will be great to see our wildflower establish across the channel.
7. First signs of Spring
With our first bulb ranges launched in August last year, we were delighted to have completely sold out of stock by mid December. With the success of the bulb range we shall be creating a new summer mix to underplant with turf in the Spring and continue to supply the Spring bulb ranges from August to December. The bulbs we have planted for the trials will be in their second year and the colour they will bring to our wildflower areas is hotly anticipated for late February and March. Please send us your photographs if you have created a bulb area in a wildflower meadow.
8. RHS Chelsea
Last year we supplied turf to four gardens at RHS Chelsea and this year we are excited to be working on one of the biggest plots for a show stopping garden designed by Dan Pearson. More to follow on this soon.
9. New offices
Our team continues to expand both within the office and on the production side. We welcomed Helen and Chris into the fold last year and we will shortly be welcoming two new members of staff. Work has started on the conversion of a barn for new offices and new training facilities for our Accredited Installer training programme as well as planning permission granted for a new barn for the production team.
10. More glorious wildflower projects
2014 was certainly a bumper year for special projects and 2015 may well top it. One of the most interesting schemes is the development of a large wildflower green roof for the Alderhay Hospital in Liverpool. We look forward to sharing plenty of pictures of this as it will be a noteworthy project by ABG Ltd, another of our accredited partners.
11. New CPD training
Last year we launched specific CPD training on wildflower landscapes for Landscape Architects and Engineers. We spoke with a number of large practices up and down the country including Arup and Atkins. Whilst they are often not directly involved in the actual making of a wildflower environment they are the key to specifying to contractors the best methods of meadow creation. Our CPD training covers the history of wildflower meadows, the problems with meadow establishment and solutions for wide ranging wildflower project types. It was wonderful to meet architects and understand their issues when specifying wildflower environments. We hope to develop this side of our training expertise in 2015.
12. Owl and Kestrel Boxes
Our wildflower nurseries are a haven for all sorts of wildlife and of particular note is the influx of birds of prey into the area over the years. We have collaborated with the Hawk Conservancy who have installed a number of breeding boxes around the farm and we look forward to seeing the offspring from our owl and kestrel boxes this year. Below is a picture of one of the two barn owl chicks that were hatched last year at Wildflower Turf.
13. Research and Development
We are very proud of the trial work that we undertake each year, which helps us develop new wildflower products and continue our pioneering expertise within meadow making. This year we will focus on trials with annual wildflowers, looking at a number of different mixes, particularly for clients requiring colour impact.
14. Mowing Regimes
The National Pollinator Strategy and the ‘Say no to the Mow’ campaigns of last year brought greater awareness to the general public of the importance of allowing lawns to grow wild and dedicating more public space to wildflowers. This certainly saw mixed views across the country on mowing regimes. This year we plan to trial a number of different mowing times throughout the year to see how this effects the performance of the wildflower.
15. Pollution Mitigation
Having supplied Wildflower Turf to both Winchester and Portsmouth universities, we are now in an exciting position to be a part of important research with them on carbon absorption and pollutant mitigation taking place this year. This research will hopefully confirm our thoughts that the density and variety of plants within a given area of wildflower meadow provides at least as much carbon absorption as a given area of trees.
So there we have it, 15 reasons to be cheerful on our second day back to work. Have a fantastic year and we look forward to sharing the excitement of your wildflower projects along the way.