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We offer a wealth of knowledge around all things Wildflower

Happy New Year and welcome to our first blog of 2022.

We are delighted to hand our blog over to a special guest contributor this month!  Writer Emily Henry works at Academized and Essay Services. Emily writes about plants and wildlife. She is also a tutor at OX Essays

 

Bees are responsible for pollinating all kinds of plants – trees, flowers, and everything in between.  Whilst bees tend to be drawn to most flowers, they do have their favourites. Some flowers have unique qualities that bees deeply enjoy. And, believe it or not, you might have one of these flowers in your own garden.

 

Here are the top 12 wildflowers that most attract bees:

 

Daisy

Daisies are designed in a way where they offer a unique way for pollinators like bees to get to the pollen and nectar. Besides their light scent and bright colors attracting bees, the head of the daisy is the most attractive. The single flower head on a daisy is made of the ray flower part and the center disc. While the ray flower part doesn’t produce any pollen, the center disc does, since the disc is made up of tiny flowers. So, the ray flower acts…

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Peat and Plastic. Begone!

With COP26 now a fading memory (read our review of the summit here), we wanted to conclude our blog posts for the year with an update on what we, here at Wildflower Turf Limited, are doing to ensure that we “do our bit”.

Our two biggest targets as we look towards the future are to reduce peat use and to reduce the use of plastic. We continue to push research and development boundaries and sustainability is one of the core goals of our R&D department and at the forefront of our product development programme.

In line with public concern about the damage peat extraction does to our natural environment, Wildflower Turf Limited is committed to an annual reduction in our use of peat as a growing medium and, aligned with the England Peat Plan, aim to eliminate the use of peat by 2030.

We are already continuing to reduce the peat content of our turf, with a goal to be completely peat-free by 2026, ahead of the 2030 target set out in the England Peat Plan. And we are very pleased to announce that one of our peat-free goals has already been met…

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Take a sneak peek behind the scenes…

 

Research and Development (R&D) is a pivotal part of everything we do here at Wildflower Turf Ltd.

Our product enhancements and new product development initiatives are driven by our meticulous R&D department, headed up by Dr Janine Robinson, and we invest heavily in order to continue to push boundaries and innovate.

Our monitoring process allows us to generate a large data set that contributes to an evidence base of understanding. We will continue to strive to establish Best Practice protocols for Turf Management and we look forward to sharing our learnings with you over time.

The spring and summer months are an especially busy time for us as the growing season provides many insights. Growth will differ year-on-year and variations in the weather can influence a meadow considerably; there is some delight to be taken from not quite knowing what a meadow will look like from one year to the next. There is also great joy to be had as each season adds a new complexity and dynamic to the changing wildflower landscape.

Our R&D plots are located at our Hampshire growing site and we’ve collated some of our observations from the spring and summer months of…

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We are delighted to hand our blog over to a special guest contributor this month! George J. Newton is a lifestyle content editor and writer for Academicbrits and Nextcoursework. He has a very patient wife of over ten years, who is his biggest supporter. He also contributes his work on gardening and landscape to websites such as Dissertation Help.

 

A wildflower meadow in full bloom is a naturally beautiful and colourful solution to various ecological issues. In addition to absorbing carbon, they provide a habitat for biodiversity to thrive by accommodating species such as bees, butterflies, and various small rodents.

 

Unfortunately, weeds have an annoying tendency to compete with wildflowers and steal their resources for growth. While some weeds are tolerable, too many weeds can infiltrate your garden before it can even become the natural beauty that you wanted it to be. However, there is good news, if you wish to plant a wildflower garden.

While it may not be possible to grow a completely weed-free wildflower garden, here are some tips to give wildflowers their best chance to blossom.

Prepare The Garden In Advance

Although wildflower…

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A Hampshire village comes together to create something special.

 

In what we hope will be an action replicated across the nation, the small village of Broughton, near Stockbridge in Hampshire is setting a wonderful example of a community embracing the need for wild changes.

This delightful story begins with local garden designer, Clare Bates.

Trained in garden design at the English Gardening School and Sparsholt College, Clare is also a Pilates instructor and is well known for conducting Pilates classes from her very own wildflower meadow in Broughton.

Inspired after seeing the local farming community embracing rewilding (more on this later) and wanting to do more to help the village of Broughton rewild, Clare joined the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust as part of their Wilder initiative.

The Trust’s “Team Wilder” project has been designed to encourage people from all walks of life and with different skills, knowledge, and experience to offer, to take some form of action to put nature into recovery, create more space for wildlife to thrive, and reduce the pressure on the environment.

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The Edenbrook project showcases the many benefits of our SuDS Turf.

 

This month we’re taking a look back at a long-running commercial project that has been managed by one of our Accredited Partners, Scofell Landscapes.

Based in Berkshire, Scofell Landscapes became a Wildflower Turf Accredited Partner back in September 2018. The team has many years of experience creating, maintaining and improving landscapes for commercial clients and regularly call on us to assist them with their projects.

Edenbrook is a development by Berkeley Homes with a selection of distinctive high specification homes in Fleet, bordering the highly desirable setting of an 82-acre country park, open green space and woodland.

At the outset, a management plan was drawn up by Berkeley Homes and approved by Hart District Council to maintain and enhance the area. Scofell Landscapes was brought in to maintain the country park which included large open spaces, footpaths and ponds.

With the Edenbrook development requiring SuDS (Sustainable Drainage System) expertise, the Scofell team was also engaged to landscape the development and provide remedial work after other services left the site.

Overall, we supplied Scofell Landscapes with 2,070m² of SuDS turf…

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As the summer comes to a close it is time the perfect time to start planning for next year, if you are considering a meadow in your garden have a read of the below of another very welcome guest blog from Jackie Edwards, a former health coach, who recently has taken a step back and become a writer.

 

Meadow gardens are all the rage across the UK at the moment with even the Duchess of Cornwall making plans for a wildflower meadow.  There are many reasons why meadow gardens are so popular at the moment including an increased desire among the general population to be in closer contact with nature. Although meadow gardens have a reputation for being significantly less-manicured than your typical garden, there is no need why they can’t be every bit as stylish, albeit in a more whimsical sense of the word. Here are a few ways how you can go about creating a beautiful meadow garden with a stylish twist.

Plant a variety of grasses

Although simply allowing your grass to grow will undoubtedly lend a meadowy feel to it, there are other things you can do as well to ensure…

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Lincolnshire County Council’s initiative is verging on sheer brilliance…

 

Many of our readers will be familiar with the wonderful initiative that is Plantlife’s Road Verge Campaign and their aim to transform 500,000 kilometres of rural road verge in the UK.

One UK council who we feel is leading the way and taking things one step further is Lincolnshire County Council. Their Verge Biomass initiative has been an evolving project for the council for the last 8 years or so.

We recently interviewed Helen Jenkins-Knight, Senior Sustainability Office at Lincolnshire County Council, to learn more about this fascinating project…

 

How did the Road Verge Biomass initiative begin?

Initially we simply wanted to see if there was something sustainable and economical that could be done with arisings created from our verge management process (cutting the first 1.1m of verge twice or three times a year and leaving the arisings in situ to creates a build-up of nutrients in the soil).

The more nutrients in the soil the better the conditions for larger plants to grow such as hog weed, cow parsley, nettles and brambles etc. By removing arisings, we reduce soil nutrients and create conditions suitable for wildflowers, crucial to supporting our native pollinator species.

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‘The Meadow’ is a triumph of ambitious vision meeting urban design.

 

It’s not every day you see an elephant in a London park, but take a trip to ‘The Meadow’ and that is exactly what you will find!

Our blog this month focuses on a wonderful London-based project that features a bespoke blend mix of Wildflower Turf® that we designed specifically for this urban design masterpiece.

But let us start at the beginning…

Southwark Council, in conjunction with Lendlease, has embarked on an ambitious project to regenerate 28 acres of land in the centre of the London borough of Elephant and Castle.

The £2.3 billion programme will deliver almost 2,500 new homes, retail and restaurants spaces, new open spaces and improved ‘green’ streets. A brand-new, temporary park, The Meadow, takes centre stage at the heart of the development.

Landscape architects and environmental planners, Gillespies, are the public realm master planner for the entire Elephant Park site, with the programme commencing in 2017.

The overall landscape masterplan aims to establish Elephant Park as one of London’s greenest places to live,…

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In honour of World Green Roof Day on Sunday, 6th of June, our blog this month is devoted to all those green spaces positioned at lofty heights!

World Green Roof Day was founded by Chris Bridgman & Dusty Gedge; veterans of the sustainable living roof arena. Now in its second year, the objective of the day is to celebrate green roofs internationally and bring focus to the many benefits they offer to people and nature.

The founders are also board members of the Green Roof Trade Organisation (GRO), the UK trade body that is responsible for the green roof code of practice. (You can read more about GRO here.)

Green roofs are very much a part of the solution to the climate emergency, especially when considering the architecture of our cities. While awareness of green roofs and their benefits has increased in recent years here in the UK, the first modern green roof policy in the world was in Karlsruhe, Germany as far back as 1979. Following on from Karlsruhe, Linz in Austria took up the baton in 1984 and across the German-speaking world green roofs are integral to the urban planning scene.

(Not forgetting, of course, that the true origins of…

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